Last night made me feel like I was back in Georgia. In bed too early because it’s cold and dark, and then wake up all night long because I went to bed too early. Also, my feet were freezing. I finally put an extra pair of socks on at 5am and then it was better. Why did I wait so long? I didn’t want to unzip my sleeping bag to be able to reach my other socks, which then had to be warmed in the bag with me before putting them on my feet. So cold.
I didn’t make it out of my sleeping bag until 8:30, but finally everyone else in the shelter was moving so I hopped up too. It was sunny and clear, with not much wind, but still really cold. I got started down the trail to the Galehead Hut with all of my layers on. On the way there, I rolled my foot somehow so that my broken toe and the outer edge of my same foot started hurting, and that slowed me way down. Once I got to the hut, I found that you didn’t have to work for food for lunch, and it could just be purchased instead. Hot soup is wonderful in the middle of a hike.
While I was inside eating, I had my still soaked long sleeve shirt laid out on a bench on the porch to try to dry in the sunshine. I didn’t hold much hope for it happening quickly but when I went out to check on it after half an hour, it was almost dry! I flipped it over, got out some socks to dry too, then went back inside to find that I got the “thru hiker discount” on lunch, AKA free. The croo worker there also told me that the trail to the next hut was super easy so I decided to keep going despite the foot pain.
She was right, at least after going over the steep South Twin Mountain, the trail kept getting easier. There were gorgeous views from there and from the top of Mount Guyot. I made it into the Zealand Falls Hut just in time for dinner and was the only thru hiker there doing work for stay. They told me they’d call me in once the paying guests were done eating, then I could eat and do my chore for payment. I grabbed a book from the shelf about pioneering women mountaineers to read and sat on the porch.
It was getting darker and chillier so I went into the dining room to keep reading even though I hadn’t been called yet. Turns out they forgot about me so my leftovers were cold. I had two plates of lasagna and broccoli and was still starving. I continued reading while they milled around in back and then they forgot about me for the chore too. Out of doing dishes, score! One of the croo members said I could just sweep up in the morning.
I had to wait for all the paying guests to leave the dining room to set up my bed there, and the croo finally turned the lights out at 9:30. There’s no heat in the building so I still had all my layers on, but it was still warmer than outside. 9.5 miles today.