Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hike: Blue Mountain

4/23/98--Shakespeare's birthday, for those who keep track. Here in the mountains it's hard to keep track of anything. I even lost track of my hat today, but R. kindly brought it to me. I'm glad I didn't forget anything heavy. Two noteworthy things today: we pulled ahead of the Fantastic Four, which was going to happen soon, both because I need to average higher miles and because N. is going to need some lower-mileage days, even if the rest of them could keep up this pace. She came in well after dark last night, J. and his dog went back to give her a hand and carried her pack back in to camp, but he'll have written about that in his journal. I missed seeing their blonde, blonde heads on the Trail, but they may catch up sooner than expected because the other noteworthy thing is that Diva Dog had a rough, rough day so I may take tomorrow off instead of Saturday.

First, I take it all back about her no-pull collar, it was rubbing her raw and I feel guilty not to have noticed it earlier, but she kept gamely plugging along. Second, her paws are hurting her. She hiked most of the day with booties on, we took a 2-hour lunch at Low Gap Shelter, and a 1/2-hour water break at Chattahoochee Gap. She sacked out both times and got on the Trail much better for the rest, but the last stretch of time before Blue Mountain (which is where I'm writing from) is not kind to smallish dogs. We had a whole field of rocks to scramble over -- at one point I had to take off her pack, and both of her hind booties came off in her scrambles. She perked up with some food and attention from the Boys, then collapsed in a pathetic curl on my sleeping bag, buried under her blanket. We did about 13 miles today. I'm doing fine--heck, I'm not even making myself all that hungry--but she isn't, so we may hitch in to Helen tomorrow. I was going to go in to Hiawassee Saturday, but that would mean a 15 mile day tomorrow in order to get there before the PO closes, and I just don't think I can do that to her.

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