April 19 - Brown Gap (250.6)

We have 23 miles left to go in our run for Hot Springs where Achin's wife arrives on Monday. Today's hike was a long up hill to start, 2,600 vertical feet. At the end was a Trail Angel from Cincinnati who commutes to this peak for a week twice a year. He covers all his own expenses, including motel, transportation, food etc. and sets up a small tent with donuts, sodas, and hot chocolate. He has a stove you can use if you want to cook there. Quite the guy. Walks us to the peak to show us where we're heading, Max Patch, and from there we'll be able to see the F.A.A. tower now located 100 feet away from us.

Rain continues on and off today, and I am now lying in my tent around 4 PM as it continues to do so.

A word or two about my tent. Picking a tent is hard for the AT, or more accurately a sleep system. I covered some of this in an early post. This tent is a TarpTent Stratospire 1, with two main parts. The interior is the "tent" and clips on to the exterior "tarp".  The tarp is designed to keep most rain and wind out, and can be expanded with two spaces called vestibules where I can place things I don't want in the tent, such as backpack, food bag, shoes, etc. and usually keep them dry. The tent has two interiors, one with me now. The current one is designed for cooler situations, with mostly solid walls and some "no seeum" mesh for air flow.  The second interior, still at home for another month, is all mesh and better in warmer to hot conditions.

Still happy with this tent, but an even lighter system (bivey sack or hammock with a tarp) might make sense.

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