Thursday, May 31, 2001

day 19, Deer Park Mountain S, NC

Start:  Groundhog Creek Shelter
End:  Deer Park Mountain Shelter
Miles:  22.4 today, 264.6 total

Somewhere along the line my math has gotten a little off. I know I've only got between 3 and 4 miles to get to Hot Springs tomorrow, but up there, the total shows that I've got 6.3 miles left (the thru-hiker Companion book shows Hot Springs as being 270.9 from Springer). Anyway, I'll put 6.3 down for tomorrow, just to make up the difference.

So today marks the dawn of a new style of hiking. It's called "get up really early and hike until 5 or 6pm". I pulled into the Deer Park That's Good Water Shelter around 5:30, which is an amazingly early time for me to stop for the day. But what's even more amazing is that I hiked over 22 miles! I'm completely insane! I think the secret to my successful day lies in the early-up, quick camp-break scenario. I got up at 6:00am (had to set the alarm for that one) and started hiking at exactly 7:30. Normally, I get up between 6:30 and 7:30, and then don't start hiking until 9 or 9:30. By 9:30am today, I had done 5.8 miles. So, from now on (or at least for the next few days), I'm going to try this new routine. I'll be layin' down the 20 milers like nobody's business. (Hot Springs is a day off, though)

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