Gooch Mountain Shelter to Lance Creek Campsite – 8.2 miles
Woke up to rain that quickly turned to snow. Very cold and windy. Stopped just before Blood Mountain. Going to Neels Gap tomorrow.
When I woke up this morning, it was already raining and of course it was cold. I lost all feeling in my hands trying to put my tent away and when my tent was put away, it had started snowing. I prefered the snow over rain because the snow won’t melt into my clothes. Either way I’ll be cold, but with snow I will be dry and cold. Thankfully, the rain and snow did not last for very long. Today, my real enemy was the wind. Part way through the day, I really had to pee, but there was no cover anywhere with the trail being up on the ridgeline for most of the day. I eventually came by a shelter that was a quarter of a mile off the trail. I really didn’t want to walk that far just to pee, but I went that way anyways. Halfway to the shelter, I stop and notice that I am out of view of the trail and out of the wind, so I just squatted and relieved myself right there. Not the best spot, but I was too desparate and cold to care. Feeling much better – but not any less cold – I continued on and decided to stop at Lance Creek Campsite instead of trying to make it to Neel’s Gap today. I was the first hiker to stop there so I got to pick a good spot. After a few hours, it was completely full and then some. There was no empty space anywhere. There was a family with 2 kids section hiking that invited any hikers to come hang out at their fire pit. I went and took my pBone and that was the first time I played it on the trail. The first 2 days, I was too cold to want to even attempt playing my pBone, but with a fire it worked out great. That became a common thing for me to play my pBone with other hikers sitting around a fire.