Journal entry: February 21

February 21
6 am
The nights are really really cold out here. I don’t think I said that before, but I’m gonna say it now. It’s really cold, and I really need to pee, but that means I have to get out of my cocoon of blankets, so I’ll be cold, and my blankets will be cold. It sucks.
Anyway, once the sun is up, I’m going to see if my clothes dried last night, and if so, I’m going on to Hawk Mountain shelter, if not, I’ll just take a zero day and chill here. Or just pack up my damp clothes and keep going. But right now, it’s about 45 degrees and windy, and I really don’t want to wear cold wet clothes (and I’d rather leave my other set for town, but that’s not likely to happen now)
5:30 pm
Sorry for the lack of updates. I wore the shirt, but packed up the damp pants and wore my others. My socks and underwear dried so those got packed. I walked to Hawk Mountain shelter. I met up with my “group” here, and we stayed for lunch.
And then it got cold, and we saw that they were forecasting rain, and we decided to sleep in the shelter, instead of hiking the 7.7 miles to the next shelter in the rain.
So lunch became an early dinner, and we’re all going to hunker down in the shelter until tomorrow. Right now, it’s me, Boots, Hannah, Sean, Ethan, Five-Oh, Mama Bear, Little Foot, and Hawkeye.
Little Foot is a hoot. He turned five last week, and Mama Bear is his mom. They are trying to complete a thru hike, too. As I’m writing this, I got to hear her ask where his other leg was. (He zipped off the legs of his pants.) But he’s a sweet kid, and full of energy. I really hope they make it. 
Dinner tonight was a foil pack of chicken with peanut butter, hot sauce, peas, and carrots. I had some as a wrap. It was pretty good, but I’m still not too hungry. I know it’s because my body is adjusting, and I am eating, I just don’t want to, mostly.
I’m sleeping in the shelter tonight mostly because it’s warmer in here (especially with the tarp on the entrance), and it’s supposed to rain tonight. Yeah, I can sleep dry in my hammock under my tarp, but I’ll have fewer wet things this way. I’ve an ultralight sleeping pad and my top quilt, so I’ll sleep warm, if mildly uncomfortable.
7 pm
It started raining. I can hear the sound of it on the tin roof of the shelter. Hawkeye is sleeping on the floor, while Hannah, Sean, and I are on the lower “bunk” area. Boots, Five-Oh, Mama Bear, and Little Foot are in the loft. Hawk Mountain is a smaller shelter, so it’s a little cramped, but no one is going to make someone sleep out in the rain. 
Little Foot got scared by a mouse earlier, so there was a bit where everyone got anything that might be chewed on out to the bear box (a metal chest set away from the shelter where we can set our food bags overnight). I tried to get a picture of the mouse, but they’re cautious. 
Ethan hiked on (I think, either that or he’s up top, too), but he’s only got a week on the trail. I kinda feel bad for section hikers, because they do have to keep to a stricter schedule, but I have loads of respect for them, too. They only have enough time to adjust to the trail, then they have to leave.
Most of us are planning on meeting up again at Gooch Mountain shelter tomorrow. I’m pretty sure this group is going to turn into a trail family (at least Boots, Mama Bear and Little Foot, Five-Oh, and me). Hawkeye might wind up joining us, and so might Hannah and Sean. That’ll be fun. Sean is from Canada, and Hawkeye is from Switzerland. Boots is from Baltimore, and Five-Oh is from Coco Beach. Hannah is from New Hampshire originally, but lives in Canada now.


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