I woke up feeling a little off this morning, no appetite and cramps in my stomach. Lynn took off pretty early and said she wanted to get water and wash up in the stream a little. We had planned to meet at Bill Ackerly's so that was only a couple miles away. I didn't feel like eating so I packed my sludge for later, it is quite uncharacteristic of me to not want to eat so this was daunting. Puzzle and I left together but that didn't last long before I knew it he was gone, and that was ok. I took my time coming down and the awkward feeling still persisted. I got to the road and saw Puzzle and Lynn sitting there so we walked together to Bill's. It was a short little walk to a cute house with Tibetian prayer flags hanging from the porch. We were greeted with a firm long handshake from an 80 year old man, asked to sign the log book, and then handed an ice cream. I debated having the ice cream since I was feeling off, but I ate all but the inside vanilla. Around back was Cornrow Steve, Pinecone, Big Gulp, and his girlfriend; I haven't seen them since Pennsylvania! We hung out on the back deck for awhile and Atlas, Ladybug, and Bullseye showed up. After painting Bill's nails, we set up for a game of croquet. This was a first for me, and I gotta say; I didn't do so well! I will blame it on the not feeling so well and standing out in the hot sun but it's hard to tell. It was almost 10:30 and we had to get going if we wanted to make any progress today. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the trail. I was still feeling crappy and I was hoping for some improvement by now. We had planned another stealth view spot tonight on top of a mountain which meant a big day ahead of us. It was warmer today, and climbing up Smarts Mountain was a real challenge for these stomach cramps I was having. I took it slow and tried to keep my mind off of it, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I saw Lynn and Puzzle stopped at a view for lunch and I knew I wanted to stop, just didn't want to eat lunch. It is very unlike me to not be eating constantly so that was odd. I went to go sit in the shade of the woods but they said they saved me a spot in the shade. I sat down and the smell of Puzzle's tuna was disgusting. Lynn told me I should eat something, which I knew; but I had no appetite and couldn't think of anything if want. She told me she packed out a Pepsi, that maybe the carbonation would help; I questioned a soda since I was thinking I was dehydrated from the day before but decided to give it a try. I slowly sipped on it and then Puzzle carried on. Lynn sat with me for about an hour after that, we talked a lot and she gave me two small ginger cookies that I was able to eat along with the can of soda. We left and I once again took my time, trying to forget about this clenching feeling in my stomach. Climbing Smarts was a bitch; it was steep, I wasn't feeling up to par, and there were actually metal rebar in the rock to walk up like steps. I sat before that to text with my mom and eat a nut bar. Once I got to the top I found Chip leaving the shelter area, he said that the others were there so I went over to join. They had been there for awhile and some had gotten water, Lynn told me to eat some Ramen but I only had enough water for drinking and wasn't about to walk .2 down the hill to water. Seems Puzzle had given her some water so she gave me 2 cups to make Ramen. I still wasn't excited to eat, but I thought Ramen didn't sound horrible and my body really needs some fuel. We sat there talking while I ate and then realized there was no way we were going to make it to the original stealth mountain campsite. I wasn't improving; I just wanted to get in my tent and fall asleep, and daylight was getting closer and closer to the early sunsets of fall and winter. We decided to stealth at the mountain before which also had a view. We would have to carry water from the brook about 2 miles to the top, not very enticing right now. Did I mention that my pack rain cover broke? And the fact that when I was home I brought it back to REI, but they didn't have any in stock so they were shipping it 2-day? Also, how I looked at the weather and it looked sunny and beautiful all week? Well, tonight there was 30% thunderstorm chance and by golly it poured. Here I am, descending (my least favorite) with horrible stomach cramps and the stamina of a turtle. If I had water I would have set up for camp for the night about 100 times by now, but I knew I had to at least make it to the brook to camp so I could drink fluids. Then it down poured. For a minute or two my stomach cramps were not the focus which was nice; but the fact that I was soaked, my pack was getting waterlogged and heavier, my shoes were soaked, and I was miserable. That walk down to the brook seemed to last forever, the rain subsided, and I saw the bridge but no one by it. I was going to camp alone and I was fine with that since I just wanted to go to sleep. I looked around, went to cross the bridge and saw Lynn sitting on the other side. She said she figured I would want to camp here since I was feeling so crappy so she told me where our best bet for camping spots would be. We set up, I went down to get water, made Gatorade and Peppermint tea and crawled in my tent. She asked what was for dinner and I told her Gatorade and tea. I sipped on the Gatorade, meditated, and sipped a little tea but couldn't keep my eyes open. I covered my tea and laid down for the night.
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