My alarm was set for 5:30, but I must have turned it off since when I was abruptly awoken by barking; it was 6:30. In the middle of the night; the dog started barking like crazy, and she let her bark for awhile. Then this morning the same thing, again; please have control over your dogs if you decide to bring them on the trail. I really didn't want to get out of bed. It was drizzling and I knew today called for more thunderstorms. Can't I just lay here until it is sunny? I texted with my mom and she basically told me to get up and moving. I felt the same today, as yesterday. Everything was soaked and I put on the wet clothes so I didn't make more clothes wet and dirty. Do you know how unpleasant putting on cold, wet clothing is when you are dry and toasty warm? It's the worst. The morning wasn't too terrible since there was a decent amount of flat, soft dirt. Well this is nice, really takes me back to the great terrain in Georgia. I saw a guy with one arm packing up and it made me feel bad for complaining; at least I have two arms. I know I had to make it 18 miles today to the shelter since the weather was bad and the fire tower may not be the best place to camp during a storm. The miles worried me, the terrain was rocky, the weather was shitty, and everything was so slippery. I sat to break for lunch and take off my waterlogged shoes, and Spike came up the trail! A familiar face is always nice. She sat and talked for a few minutes and then left since she was meeting a friend tonight for a bed and laundry. She is really cranking in the miles these days, I think she said she has to do 20 mile days with no zeros to make it back for a job. I am so thankful I don't have that pressure, but then again; what the hell am I going to do with my life after this journey? My knee started to hurt, but not enough to sweat the knee brace out. I felt tired again today, like I wanted to set up my tent and just sleep today away. I can't wait to just lay inside on a rainy day and relax, not worrying about getting from point A to point B. My feet were so waterlogged they looked like they were going to fall off and die. They are all prune-like and the skin is peeling. I took breaks a few times today and huffed it up the last climb to get to the fire tower. I got lost for about 15 minutes on the rock ledge when the blaze showed straight but clearly it didn't go that way. I walked straight, like many people had; and then came to a dead end in the woods. I went back up, looked around and didn't see anything. I tried another way, and nothing. I went back to the dead end in the woods to see if I could see a blaze anywhere and still nothing. I bushwacked through thick bushes back up to the rock and saw a blaze on a small post. This meant from where I came out, you were supposed to take a hard left to the trail...thanks for the warning and information. That was frustrating. I tried to make up lost time wondering where the hell the tower was, I should have been there by now. The rain started to pick up and I really didn't want everything to be soaked again instead of damp. I made the decision to stick with my original plan of camping at the tower. Luckily there was a little inlet with trees so I was not completely exposed. There was a couple of teenagers up in the tower when I got there. So; I set up, have full cell service, ate, and planned out next week. I planned on all lower mile days to see if the less pressure gets my spirits up and makes for a more enjoyable experience. I will also hit Connecticut by Saturday! I hung my bear bag on the tower, hopefully no one or nothing bothers it and laid down for the night. I love the sound of rain on the top of my tent-a wet tent does suck to pack though. Tomorrow I am picking up my maildrop at the visitor center, I have a total of 14 miles to do so that is better than 16 or 18. Though the day after I have 16 and then 18 before getting to New York, and my Mom on Saturday!
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