It was awfully windy and cold last night (at least, not as cold as it was in the Smokies, though), the wind whipping my tent and even making it into the tent by blowing under the rain fly, but my sleeping bag kept me nice and warm and toasty overnight.
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Overnight, there was a fair amount of noise on my tent that sounded like rain. This morning, though, it looked dry out. I suspect instead, the wind last night was blowing pine needles off trees, and that’s what was hitting my tent.
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I got out of camp just before six this morning, and got started on my goal to make it to Jo-Mary Road, 15.4 miles ahead, by 2:30 pm for my food drop. I was cautiously optimistic this would not be a problem, because the elevation profile looked wonderful: aside from climbing 800 feet to go over Little Boardman Mountain, the whole day was a very gradual downhill.
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I left the shelter shortly before 7, hoping to make it 20.7 miles today to the East Branch Lean-to. The day, of course, got off to a rocky start, as the trail continued across the ridge of Chairback Mountain. Reaching the exposed summit, a strong breeze blew clouds between and over the next mountain to the (compass) north, and it was fairly clear I’d be going over that mountain shortly.
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After another fantastic breakfast, I finished packing my food and scheduled a food drop for Jo-Mary Road on Saturday at 2:30 pm, coinciding with two other people who have a food drop then as well. I still had to pay $80 up-front for the food drop, but should get a nice refund assuming they don’t change their delivery time between now and then.
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