6-16-09 day 14
start: Rausch Gap Shelter
end: 501 Shelter
daily mileage: 17.4
total mileage: 170.7
Pogo and Mama Bear left today... after only a few miles, they had gotten to the road that branched off the trail to their car. They will be missed, of course, but Sea Monster and I are looking forward to integrating ourselves into the groups of hikers we meet, rather than existing in the clique we brought.
We hiked with the Smith Brothers and Sleddog all day today until we got to the fabulous 501 shelter. This shelter is freaking awesome. It's totally enclosed, and has a skylight in the middle so that (unlike the other shelters) it's nice and bright inside. We hung out with everyone for a while (and met a section hiker named Billy) while Travis and I sat down and drew out a Risk Board in permanent marker on a piece of groundcloth we're carrying. It looks awesome! We're going to create a risk deck by writing countries and units on the deck of cards we're carrying, and get some dry-erase markers to mark infantry numbers on the groundcloth to play! The only weight we'll really have to carry for this operation (other than what we already have) are the markers and a few dice... awesome!
We took showers in the "solar shower," which heats water in big black tanks. Except that it was overcast all day, and the water was freezing... but I'm not complaining, we only get showers about once a week and they feel great, cold or warm!
We were a bit disappointed to read in the trail log that a trail angel had been there last night with tons of hot food for the hikers, but had a fantastic surprise instead! An italian pizza place apparently delivers to the shelter (which is pretty close to a road), and as Sea Monster and I were talking about whether or not to order, a pizza guy walks in with a pepperoni pizza! He's on the phone with a girl from Jersey who ordered it for her hiker boyfriend, but whose hiker boyfriend wasn't showing up there tonight! They decided to leave it with us for free!!! It's the sort of thing that only happens in movies. We were, needless to say, pretty pumped.