9-26-09 day 116
start: Pickle Branch Shelter, VA
end: Sarver Hollow Shelter, VA
daily mileage: 16.1
total mileage: 1508.2
Its my birthday today, and simply put, being 22 is incredible. Its like my whole life I've be moving along without any direction and when I woke up this morning it was like everything fell squarely into focus. I don't even know how I got along back when I was only 21. Too bad the weather had no sympathy for my special day...
After we woke up we found out Gootch and Bacon rolled into the shelter late last night, seeing as it was full they opted to squeeze underneath the shelter to get out of the rain. Their bags got pretty dirty but at least they stayed dry. It stayed rainy off and on all morning but never got really bad until after lunch. We met up with Cricket at the shelter for lunch and she told us she had read some awful news in the shelter log book. Our friend Sisyphus's dog Icarus had a fatal run in with a truck a few days ago. Really, what a shame. Icarus was a gorgeous husky and she had hiked with Sisyphus all the way from Katahdin only to have it end up like this. Terrible...
Shortly after we got there everyone else showed up for lunch, ate and left. We hung out to see if the rain would stop, and after 1 1/2 hours with no signs of slacking we finally had to press on into the cold, cold rain. We climbed up onto a ridge for the remainder of the afternoon where the weather only got worse. Now almost totally exposed the rain and wind amped up to near torrential levels. Any hope of staying even slightly dry were over. Somehow we both remained in good spirits despite being soaked and freezing, and were really looking forward to a good old fashioned case of hypothermia. Luckily, we made good time to Sarver Hollow Shelter where we quickly changed into dry clothes and climbed into our sleeping bags. Happy Birthday to me!