Rocky Run Shelter to Raven Rock Shelter
Miles Hiked: 20.6
AT Milage: 1061.5
Last night it started downpouring as soon as I got in my tent. At first I was dry and I was very happy with how well the tent was holding up. It actually keeps the water out unlike my other tent that soaks it up. It was raining so hard that all of a sudden my tent was in a giant puddle. I could feel a half inch of water underneath me but it wasn’t coming in. The only water that was getting in the tent was what was splashing up through the netting due to how hard it was raining. Eventually one of my tent stakes came out of the ground because the mud got too wet to hold it down. I had to pee anyways so I crawled out into the pouring rain, went to the bathroom and fixed it. Apparently I did a really bad job at fixing it because I accidentally let a whole lake of water into the tent. My tent is great in every way except for the difficulty I have setting it up right. A complete user error. I will get better at setting it up the more I use it. I had to get out for a second time because I had to go to the bathroom yet again, so I fixed the tent stake. When I crawled back into my soaking wet tent I realized I accidentally pulled the opposite tent stake out of the ground now. I was not going to get my self soaked again to fix it. I wasn’t able to sleep at all because I got a bad headache in the middle of the night. I also was shivering from the cold rain in my wet clothes. I didn’t use my sleeping bag because if the down got wet, it would be useless anyways. Around six am I tried really hard to sleep for a half hour before I needed to get ready but was unsuccessful. I got ready in the rain that luckily slowed down for a little bit but everything was soaking wet and muddy. There was a new rushing stream next to my tent area that wasn’t there before. Despite moving extra slow because everything was wet, I was able to leave camp at 7:15am.
The trail was a river as expected. It remained super flat all day which was amazing. The only bad part about the trail today was that there were quite a few boulder fields and in some spots my foot sank so far down into the mud it went up to my ankle. The trail wasn’t handling the water very well. I made a stop with Flamingo at a pavilion in Washington Monument State Park. We took off our shoes to dry off our feet a little bit and do stretches. When we got back out on the trail, we passed the original Washington Monument which was really cool. On Independence day in the early 1800s a small town in Maryland came together to build the monument with each person contributing a stone. Since then it has been remodeled a few times, but it was still cool! There was a nice view on the top as well.
After the Washington monument, I crossed a large highway on a cool looking bridge. The trail went right through some backyards! I saw a sign for trail magic so I took a short blue blazed trail to a parking lot where there was a tent set up. At the tent was a girl named Jamie and her best friend who want to hike the trail next year. They live in Maryland and wanted to do trail magic to meet some hikers. They cooked us eggs, sausage, cheese and peppers. I made a burrito with it and used hot sauce they had. It was so good! I also ate fresh oranges, apples, and a cookie. It was the perfect trail magic for a gloomy morning after a crazy night of rain.
It continued to rain almost all day until about 3pm. Even though it was uncomfortable I took a break to stretch and massage my feet. I sat down in the middle of the trail while it was still raining. I knew I couldn’t hike much further without taking a break. I passed so many people going southbound on the trail today. There were at least five large groups of younger children backpacking. There were ten or more people in each group. On top of the large groups there were tons of couples out as well. It felt like I had to stop every half a mile to let a few people walk by. I had to cross a very large and deep stream that went up to my knees. I had to laugh at the high water sign that showed a two mile reroute to get around it. There was no way I was going to walk two extra miles to avoid that water!
I eventually made it to the shelter around 6pm. It was an extremely nice shelter and all my stuff was soaking wet so I set up on the inside and hung everything out to dry. There weren’t many people camping at the shelter tonight and it was really nice. Flamingo was there too. I cooked rice for dinner and it actually tasted good. My back was hurting really bad today and I think it’s from my pack weight. There were times I had to lift it up with my arms to give by shoulders and back a break. When I sat down to take care of my feet I was relieved about my back as well. This isn’t normal for me and I’m a little concerned. I was so fatigued from my back aching at the end of the day that I quickly fell asleep without even writting my blog. I slept so well that I didn’t wake up until 7am the next day.