Day 32 – Doll Flats to a camp site by Upper Laurel Fork creek

The park like campsite at Doll Flats got a little crazy about 3 AM last night 😆. Out of no where, the wind started gusting at 25-30 mph…right into the side of my tarp. I’d not really taken the time to setup for high winds so through the course of the next hour both stakes on the side getting blasted flew out of the ground. In no mood to try to find them in the middle of the night, each time it happened, I grabbed a trekking pole and used that as a make shift stake (I didn’t find both of them in the morning BTW). If that wasn’t enough, a bit later the wind managed to untie the line holding the doors on the tarp open and the doors started flapping…loudly! I got out a third time and tied them open.

I did manage to drift back to sleep a bit, but the wind kept at it, so I was up and out a little before 7. I grabbed my food bag from the hang and made breakfast sitting in my hammock, this time to block a bit of the wind. The hiker I ate dinner with last night, Milk, was nice enough to come over as he was leaving camp and offer me the rest of his water. In usually have some left over from the night before, but with the pinhole leak, I was a little low so glad to get it, saving me a water run before I left camp.

Getting the tarp and hammock packed up was a little more challenging than usual in the wind, but I managed just fine and left camp a little after 8. The first part of the morning was really easy – a three mile slow descent to 19E. I passed one of the group I had been yo-yoing with yesterday, Waldo, at a camp about a half mile from the road. He mentioned that Mountain Harbor hostel was a short road walk and had resupply and might have breakfast.

As I got to 19E I walked down to the hostel to check it out. I ran into Waldo’s hiking partner, Good Excuse, and played a little trail telegraph, letting him know where he was. While no breakfast was in site, I did grab a bottle of a local soda I’d been seeing (Dr Enuf) and a Reese cup. Breakfast of champions hikers.Thus fueled, I started the climb out. It was pretty uneventful overall.

A little after noon I crossed the 400 mile mark…at least 4 time 😝. The hikers seem to disagree about where it is exactly based on the number of hiker-made markers along the trail, each about 10 ft from the other. I carried on to Jones falls for lunch – best lunch spot yet! I stayed a little longer than normal, spending the extra time journaling and taking in the falls. While I was there, Spaceball and Padfoot came in for lunch also (Jazz was just in for a section and got a ride at 19E).

I left the falls around 1:30 and quickly got into some “flow” hiking. My PF had felt pretty good today so I just walked at pace and the miles melted away. I’m sure I’m getting a little stronger and have more endurance, but it also helped that the weather was perfect (60s and cloudy, the terrain was easy (dirt, leaf and pine needle covered paths mostly) and the slopes were gentle.

I flowed along for the next couple hours until I was only a couple miles from camp, when I accident kicked a mostly buried rock (on an otherwise smooth path) with my right foot and my PF tightened right back up. There was more than a little limping the last two miles. One step forward, one step back I guess.

I made camp a little before five and setup right by the creek, with my tarp in “porch mode“ on the side facing the creek so I could see it as I cooked, ate, read, etc. I always sleep well next to water, so here’s hoping the rain forecast for tonight is light.

Tomorrow is a short 12 miles to a hostel for shower, laundry, resupply and town food before the big push to DaMarcus for trail days.

Jones Falls






One response to “Day 32 – Doll Flats to a camp site by Upper Laurel Fork creek”

  1. Michele Avatar

    Sorry to hear that your PF acted up again. I had that several years ago, so I totally empathize. Fortunately was able to get rid of it by doing the exercises diligently/ never had to have the shot that some of my acquaintances did. Amazing that you were able to continue.

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