Day 88 – 15.7 miles to tent site at Ensign Cowall shelter at 1054.2

A day of two halves, one very easy and pleasant, the other treacherous and rocky.

I slept past dawn for about the first time and only left camp at 8am. The elevation profile in the guide for today was pretty flat so I was hoping for a relatively relaxed day time-wise anyway.

The trail started off with a nice wide flat hard-packed mud pathway and the first 5 miles flew by. Here is a nice forest scene. If only it was all like this.
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Later in the morning I walked through a section surrounded on born side by blooming magnolia.
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Around mile 1045 the trail crossed over a highway in quite an attractive arched wire bridge with some climbing plants adorning it.
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Any then immediately afterwards I encountered some graffiti on the bridge concrete that will strike a chord with every Doctor Who fan…
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With a an awkward distance to the next reliable water and my stomach telling me it was lunchtime I went down a side trail to Annapolis Rocks which promised food views, two privies and a water source. But the spring was quite a long way downhill and I was glad to be able to stop and have lunch rather than have used it as a quick water stop as it was probably a 0.6 mile round trip.

Also, the view wasn’t photo worthy. Besides the guide promised a better view 1.0 miles further north so I was happy to wait for that. But with a good rest, easy trail and lunch inside me I went so fast I didn’t look up until I ran into Chaser sitting smugly by a stream (the unreliable source from the guide I had decided not to gamble on) and realised I had passed the viewpoint half a mile earlier already. Ah well.

So I then cursed the rest of the day by remarking to Chaser how pleasant a day it had been so far. Naturally the trail then decided to turn very rocky and beat me up for the next 5 miles.

Reaching the shelter at about 5pm I found Greyhound, who had also gotten water from the ill-advised place earlier and one of the two uncles she is hiking with. When the second arrived later he threw his trekking poles away and started cursing the rocks until the air turned blue. They don’t sugar coat things in Kentucky I think.

Chaser breezed in less than an hour after me having managed to hitch into town after only 10 cars, get a BBQ sandwich for dinner and get offered a ride back to trail before even finishing, making his detour for a proper dinner last only 40 minutes! He was much hated by all members of the shelter.

2 thoughts on “Day 88 – 15.7 miles to tent site at Ensign Cowall shelter at 1054.2

  1. Phil,

    Very inspiring adventure, great to see you’re enjoying yourself. Keep the photos coming and hope the bears don’t cause any troubles!

    Butters

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