The Ark is Full

Monday June 27
Calf Mountain Shelter (869.0)

Shuttle arrives on time, and we are at Rockfish Gap at 10:15. Good signal and I call Deb.

Half a mile in we stop to register at the southern terminus of the park. We are supposed to list where we will camp each night, which is kind of crazy because how can you tell? Weather, trail conditions, physical condition, can all play into where you end up.  Make an earnest attempt to begin with, but then rely on my bad handwriting to obfuscate. We keep one copy, and stuff the other two into the over full slot that asks that we don't fold, but gently slide in. We see Snow White here, but not again.

AT roughly follows the red line from one end of the Shenandoah National Park to the other.

Trail is reasonably smooth, some elevations but hundreds of feet versus thousands. Make the 6.7 miles in little more than three hours (when I got on trail three weeks ago, took four hours to go five miles). We are moving ahead of a thunder storm expected at 3:00. Arrive at shelter and it's us plus one other. Two hikers arrive soon after and set up tents. Almost gleefully, knowing many hikers are still on the Trail, the skies open.

Shelter fills up as more arrive, then more, and more. Rain comes down, cracking lightening, and it's like we are in Noah's Ark and the animals keep arriving but the Ark is full. People arrive and peer in, look all around, and come to the sad conclusion they need to set up their tent.

Tucked in the shelter before the real crowds arrive.

It's 7:30, the rain stopped hours ago, and 40 or more are here. People are in pretty good spirits despite the dampness.

Tomorrow we either go 14 miles to the next shelter, or 18+ to the first of the organized campgrounds.

Today is the first day of my fourth week.