Journal Entry: March 4

March 4
Whitley Gap Shelter, 7:30 pm
So, I’m back. I did 6.7 miles from Neel Gap to Whitley Gap shelter (plus the 1.2 mile trail to the shelter) today, so I’m feeling accomplished, especially since I left Mountain Crossings at around ten and got here a bit after four.
Anyway, it’s really cold, so I picked up some more cold weather clothes before I started out. I now have a wool Buff, wool long underwear, and a fleece sleeping bag liner (fleece bag that adds warmth to your sleeping bag). I’m hanging (higher than I should, given the wind. Lower is warmer) with my bag liner, my lighter long underwear and my wool long underwear and my puffy, and I’m still a bit chilly.
I lost my first trail family due to my week off, but there are people at the shelter (especially since I’m in the leading edge of the bubble), and I’ll find more as I go on.
I’m currently debating on just hiking to the next shelter tomorrow (little over five miles) or just keep going to some campsite somewhere. I don’t know. I’ll hike toward the next one and see how I feel. It’ll be warmer tomorrow night, and it won’t start getting cold again until Wednesday. I don’t like sleeping cold, so I would prefer to be in a hostel by then, but we’ll see.
The only really exciting thing today was getting back out, and summiting four mountains (Levellen, Wolf Laurel Top, Green Cliff Top, and Wildcat Mountain). I also managed to roll my ankle just about once every mile. But it’s holding up, and I’m not too concerned.
So! I’m going to gush about my new gear! I got a new pair of trail runners, like I said. They are wonderful! Much better traction, they fit my feet better, my toenails don’t feel bruised, they’re amazing. I also have a pair of superfeet insoles in them, and my feet hurt so much less, it’s great. I’m also loving my sleeping bag liner. It’s just like a fleece sleeping bag, and I stuffed it into my top quilt, and I am so warm right now. You don’t really appreciate “warm” until you have to camp outside in freezing temperatures.

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