April 24 - Jerry Cabin Shelter (300.3)

The Guide says, "Firescald bypass to west reconnects with AT 1.5 north." Of course, that being mile 12, don't read it before leaving camp at 7. Achin should be soon behind.

Trail is mostly downhill, and being just dirt, travel well and complete first four miles, with ample breaks, in less than two hours. Achin shows up and we snack a bit, then start on the big climb for the day of 2,400 feet in six miles. There's a shelter part way up, where I stop for lunch. Achin comes in 40 minutes later; ascents are still a challenge for him.

With less than seven miles to go, with most down or flat after a one mile incline, figuring target shelter is possible by 3 PM. Readings about the bypass again, and now also notice "AT between bypass points is rocky and strenuous." What?

Start seeing rocks, then another bypass for "Bad Weather", but take rocky trail which is the AT.

The next mile plus is a slow, rocky trail, which ends up along a rocky ridge line with stunning views in all directions. Turns out this is "Big Firescald".  Enjoy for a while, then continue on for a series of rocky drop offs, rock stairs, a little rock climbing down and up, and rocky trail. Both like it immensely for being the most technically difficult part of the Trail so far, but not like it for the surprise factor.

Get to shelter at 4:10, others are here, but I'm first to look for campsite. Nothing is totally flat, but make do. Achin comes in at 5:40, tired but none the worse for wear.

Instant potatoes with lemon tuna for dinner. Light rain expected, hopefully not until tomorrow after breakfast.

Spend night, this being uneven ground, slowly sliding to one side of the tent. Put Crocs under air mattress to stop this, which doesn't entirely work. Wake up, scootch mattress and sleeping bag to other side, repeat, repeat. 


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