Date: 07 Feb 2018 09:18PM EST
Location: Camping near mile 684.2
Today's Miles: 24.8
Total Miles: 684.2
Slow start this morning, didn't get out of camp until after 0830. Was super warm all night and the humidity this morning was palpable.
Hiked well all morning, had the carrot of fried food driving me. Made it to the blue blazed junction to the store around noon.
Met two older yet avid bicyclists on my way to the store. They section hiked the AT over fifteen years, but recently switched to bikes to save their bodies from the pain of long distance hiking.
Uneventful lunch, had some fried chicken, potato wedges, chicken strips, mac and cheese, some french fries, and sweet tea. Just after I sat down one of the local chicken processing factories let out for lunch, and this tiny gas station was swarmed with thirty or so people in rubber boots and thick plastic aprons. They ate everything in the place and left in under twenty minutes.
Hiked out into the afternoon, the hiking pretty effortless wit a full belly. Didn't have a planned stopping point, but there was a campsite just before a fifty mile road walk which I thought would be a good spot.
Arrived to the campsite earlier then I anticipated, so I grabbed some water from the spring and threw on my pack. Talked briefly with a hiker on his first long distance hike who looked at me incredulously when I told him I was going to continue hiking, into the darkness, with no listed campsites for many, many miles.
Hiked into the night and was going strong until a hard and fast cold rain came through. Managed another hour and a half in the driving rain before I started to get cold. Luckily the rain lightened just long enough for me to setup my tent in a tiny little clearing amongst some trees along the road walk.
Smells like manure from the farmland around me, but it'll do. Air mattress deflated as I was writing this, and upon inspection thorn has poked through the bottom of my tent and into my mattress.
Looks like in my haste to get out of the rain I didn't line up my Tyvek ground cloth properly. Luckily, Tenacious Tape is amazing, and after locating the small slit I slapped some on and was good as new.
Sleeping with my food bag flattened out under the offending area for the night with the intention it'll prevent any further punctures.