3/29/2018 – Day 20

Icewater Spring Shelter to Cosby Knob Shelter – 20.3 miles

Got started hiking by 7:20 this morning – earliest start time yet. It was foggy in the morning, but once I started hiking the sun came out and stayed out all day. I finished hiking in short sleeves and wanting to take my pants off (high of 61). Still with Buckeye, Lose/Fast/Square, and the Australians. There was a mom and her 9-year-old daughter at the shelter. I taught CJ how to hold and make a sound on trombone. She passed out jolly ranchers to all the hikers here. I’m trying to figure out a way to attach my p-bone to my pack without the case. So far, no luck, but if I can figure out something by Hot Springs, I’ll send the case home there.

I woke up and starting packing away my tent and gear before the sun was up. First time doing that. Once I got hiking, the sun was barely up, but enough that I did not need my head lamp. It was a foggy and misty morning that started off pretty cold. I ran into a section hiker who was hiking with a giant rain coat and rain pants on. Thru hikers learn quickly that rain pants are not a necessity. When there is enough rain for you to want to put on rain pants, you will still get wet so it’s best just to hike wet and have a set of dry clothes to change into once you are camped for the night. Thankfully the fog went away quickly and the sun was out for the rest of the day.

The usual group of hikers that I’ve been running into since Georgia were at this shelter along with some other section hikers. Once of my favorite section hikers that I met on the AT was a mom and her 9-year-old child. I feel bad for not remembering the mom’s name but I do remember that the girl’s trail name was ‘Snow Poke.’ She liked to poke the snow banks on the side of the trail with her hiking poles. Snow Poke is the coolest 9-year-old I’ve ever met. She was on her first backpacking trip starting at Newfound Gap and ending at Max Patch – I would be at Max Patch in a few days. In the trail register she described her day of hiking by saying that there were too many “hillys” along with a drawn picture of her and her hiking poles.

Snow Poke spent a long time trying to teach Racheal how to talk ‘gansta.’ They are both very white so it was very entertaining to watch this happen. When they were done with that I showed her my pBone and offered to let her play it. She was doing really well holding it properly and even getting her buzz to make a sound, but she seemed embarrassed so she handed it back to me to play her a song. Later after we all finished our ramen/pasta side dinners, Snow Poke ran around to all of us with a bag of jolly ranchers offering some to anyone who wanted them.

At this point in my hike, I was getting a bit annoyed by the extra weight of the case of my pBone. The actual instrument barely weighed anything, but the case made it almost 3lbs. I spent some time that night thinking of ways to attach my pBone to my pack without the case, but I wasn’t able to think of anything then or later on. I just dealt with it the rest of the hike.

I had a PCT hiker tell me recently that he didn’t think that he would hike the AT because there aren’t a lot of big expansive views on the trail like on the PCT. While that is true, I think views like this are just as beautiful. I was over-the-moon happy to wake up and hike through views like this every day.

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