To Seely-Woodworth Shelter
Mile Marker 821.8 (15.8 Miles)
I packed up a very wet tent the next morning. My body hurt, and I didn’t feel well. I had a bunch of difficult inclines this day. The trail was gnarly and jungle-like. I would imagine that it is difficult to maintain the trail in Virginia since so many miles of trail are in this state. When it’s bad, it’s BAD! …but when it’s good, it’s so nice!
When the plants are waist high, up against the trail, and wet, you get soaked from the waist down when you walk through, including shoes and socks.
I was pretty down after spending the morning with much of the trail like this. Then, late morning, the trail opened up onto a beautiful bald! The sun was shining, and a front had pushed through, so the air was drier and cooler!
When I was halfway across the bald, I saw a line of kids on the trail. They were wearing ‘Holy Cross’ t-shirts and I assumed they were on a field trip. I stepped aside so they could pass me, and as they passed me, they asked me questions about how long I had been on the trail, and how far I had walked. They were so cute. It was the highlight of my day.
When I got to the shelter, no one was there. Since I get up early, and start hiking early, I arrived at the shelter early. One of the first things I did was use the privy. It had one of those fiberglass ceilings, but the privy was dirty and stinky. To add insult to injury, there was a loud buzzing coming from the ceiling. I looked up and saw the ceiling was covered in flies! It was like a scene out of a horror movie. I propped the door open with my backpack…it made me feel a little better not to be locked up in there with the flies. That didn’t make them fly out, though. Sick! I finished up as quickly as I could.
I hunted the entire area for the most perfect tent site I could find. I strung my bear cord between the trees and hung out my tent to dry. I cooked my supper while I was waiting. Still, no one had come to the shelter, and no one had come by the time I got into my tent. I had set it up quite a way from the shelter because that is where the flattest tent spot was, but it was a friendly little tent site. I felt at peace there. I slept the night through without yelling out in terror.