After a late night at Chocolate World, we enjoyed sleeping in at Malto’s house. We got up to pancakes, sausage and eggs. It was misting and wet after a night of thunderstorms and our motivation to hurry back to the trail was low. RobinHood and All In took the opportunity to give each other summer haircuts.
Malto walked back from the office around lunch time and showed us some of the gear he has made for himself. It’s pretty cool to see what people do who walk forty miles a day with a five pound base weight. We used Malto’s extensive collection of repair items to do some needed gear repair. Mama Bear got her new pack in the mail- much lighter and a better fit then the old one that she used on our last thru-hike. Wired even gave Mama bear her old shoes since she was picking up new ones and Mama bear’s new ones proved way too narrow (New Balance must have changed thei last from the ones she replaced).
Finally, in early afternoon we piled back into the car with Wired, stopped for some groceries and a billboard photo-op, and headed back to the trail. We had a long stretch of 13 miles that wove its way through private farmland where camping is prohibited, which meant that we had to push a little more than our motivation would have lead us to otherwise. It was raining on and off with flash flood warnings due to the amount of precipitation over the last few days. The trail was muddy and slippery and we had a few impressive falls where people stood up looking like they’d just lost a mud wrestling match. In some places the trail was inches deep in water and we just had to slosh through.
Finally the trail climbed steeply out of the fields, passing by some impressive rock formations. We rolled into an empty shelter in the dark at 8:45 (way past bedtime), and were thankful for the opportunity to spread out our gear and stay dry as it rained all night. If there had been anyone in the shelter, we would have set up our tent (wet dogs, rambunctious kids, and other people’s dry, expensive gear don’t mix well), so it was nice that we were the only ones here. The late night will surely mean a slow morning.