Day 78 May 24 – 14.2 miles – Seely – Woodworth Shelter to Harpers Creek Shelter
In the morning it was still drizzling. We had a few views that were coming up but we didn’t expect to see anything.
A few miles into the day we came to a side trail. The side trail led up a rock scramble to the top of a rock outcropping called Spy Rock. It was a cool little rock scramble and the fact that the view was clouded in didn’t subtract from the fun involved to get up there.
Four miles after Spy Rock we passed a side trail for The Priest Shelter. We decided to skip it. That turned out to be a mistake. We found out later that in The Priest Shelter there is a log book that Thru hikers confess their trail sins in. Apparently there were quite a few funny stories.
After passing the side trail to the Priest Shelter we passed The Priest. The Priest is a group of boulders that, when viewed from the right angle, looks like a priest in prayer. Due to the surrounding trees we couldn’t get the right angle to get a good picture.
After The Priest we had a 4.3 mile 3100 foot descent. Along the way there were opportunities for views but all of them were clouded in.
Once we finished the long descent we climbed 1000 feet up an unnamed hill. About a mile after that climb we decided to take a break at Harper Creek Shelter. Zeus and Flashfire were already there and they had decided to stop there for the day. Stoat and I were unsure if we wanted to stop yet. A few minutes after we got there the rain really started coming down. We decided to stay.
We left a note in a plastic bag on the trail for Scarecrow in case he was interested in staying there
Soon a couple showed up at the Shelter. Their names were Snowshoe and Sailor. Not long after they showed up a hiker named Sixes showed up. Sixes really liked to play Yahtzee. He carried dice with him so he could play any time he wanted. So, everyone in the shelter wound up playing Yahtzee in the middle of the woods, with people we had just met.
After Sixes won the game (he was really good) he decided to hike on.
The rain never let up. Stoat and I decided to sleep in the shelter. It was only the fourth time we had actually slept in a shelter on the AT.
I woke up in the middle of the night. When I tried to look out of the shelter I couldn’t see anything. I blinked my eyes a few times to help them adjust. It didn’t help. In my sleepy state of mind I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I waved my hand in front of my face. Nothing. I waited a few minutes and still couldn’t see anything. It really was that dark out. I had never experienced that level of complete darkness in an outdoor setting. It reminded me of the time I was on a tour of an underground mine and they turned out the lights.