Day 27: Chatfield Shelter to Chestnut Knob Shelter (27.4 miles)
Updated: May 10, 2019
June 8, 2004 - What a day I had. It started off on the wrong foot. Had stomach problems and had to keep going to the privy to use the bathroom. Then I finally got a start towards Atkins, 4.5 miles away, and made great time. Went to the gas station and pigged out on a bag of chips and cookies, also bought some real food. Then I started my hike up again but went in the wrong direction. When I got into Atkins I was supposed to go right but I took off left because I saw some white blazes (that’s how the trail is marked, 2×4 inch white marks). It turns out they weren’t real blazes and went ¾ of a mile before turning around. I wasted a good 30 minutes. There were some hikers at the gas station who I had talked to before I left. I don’t know why they didn’t say anything when I started off in the wrong direction. I got back on track and met up with those hikers at the 1st shelter and they asked me why I went that way. They thought I knew what I was doing. I wish they had asked me earlier. There were many climbs today and I knew there would be a big one at the end of the day, 2200 ft elevation change. I met a southbound hiker who said it’s not a bad hike. I got to the last shelter before this one (Chestnut Knob) and almost stayed at Knot Maul just because I had had enough and it looked like rain and the next shelter was 9 miles away. I just decided to go for it. Refilled on water about ¼ mile later I was off trying to out run the storm. I made it about 2.5 miles before the storm hit hard. I had been hearing thunder all day but no rain until then. It was coming down like crazy and I was half way up Lynn Camp Mountain. I thought the smart thing to do would be to get off the mountain and down to the road. That was 3 miles away. Being near the top of a mountain during a thunderstorm can be a little scary. I had planned to make it down and wait for the storm to pass. By the time I had made it down the mountain the bad stuff was over and there was just rain so I kept going the last 4.5 miles which would be the hardest climb of the day (2200 ft elevation change). It took what seemed forever, every little steep part seemed long. However it only took an hour and a half. It must have been short because it didn’t feel like I averaged 3 mph. Getting close to the top of the mountain you leave the woods and walk through these meadows. Good thing was that the rain had stopped so it made for an enjoyable hike to the shelter. The view from there was unbelievable. Since it had stopped raining you could see a long ways. All the mountains had steam coming off, making a great picture opportunity. Seeing the shelter made me so happy. I could change out of the wet clothes and do some eating. By the time I got all that done and set up my sleeping stuff the sun was setting, making a great view from the top of this bald mountain. It was a tiring day but overall it was a good one even with all the stuff that went wrong. I should sleep well tonight. I got in 27.4 miles on the day. There is one other guy in the shelter named Shivers; nice guy. This is a nice shelter because this one has 4 walls and a door. Bedtime.