I wake at 6:30 wanting to get up at 7. So, I doze with Sherman until the alarm sings at 7. I leave him curled up on the bed while I go downstairs to make coffee and get some clothes I’d hung to dry. When I return to the kitchen, he’s come downstairs too and want to go outside. We walk around the property and he empties all of his storage tanks.
I finish packing and showering about 8. Bob is making french toast. We eat and head for Lincoln Gap, where we exited on Friday. I said I’d like to start about 9. It’s 10 when Bob drops us at the gap. Sherman and are shifting our packs around to get them comfortable. I stop at the sign board, sign in the register and read the signs. I reach for my phone to see what time it is and discover I’d left it in the van. Shit. No way to call Bob. He has my phone.

So, I start to send a message to Chris via the InReach. That’ll take about 20-30 minutes for the message round trip. Bob will be almost home by then. I’m almost done with writing the message when he pulls back in. Whew! He’d seen the phone on the seat and pulled over to see if we started to walk down the road. When we didn’t he came back to the trailhead. A good laugh, a hug, and we’re back on the trail, headed 5 miles to the first shelter.
I like to have an easy first day back on the trail to let the body adjust. Packs are heavy. They put a load on the hips, knees and feet. They change the center of gravity and cause other small muscles infrequently used to be active in moving and balancing.
The day is grey and drizzly. We’re walking in the clouds.
The trail is easy to see in the high contrast wet world.
A cairn alerts Sherman that the trail turns here. (He’s actually learned what these human made piles of rocks mean. And to distinguish them from random natural piles of rocks. He can either see or feel the regularity or smell something.)
I start to play with the camera features on my new iPhone.
These are all taken with Depth Effect where the foreground is in focus and the background is out of focus.
The trees drip on us. The temp is in the mid-50’s.
It is VERY quiet. None of the birds are talking. The small mammals are not running. Very quiet and misty

Pictures of moss with Depth Effect and or the 2x lens.

Pictures of birch trees and bark with 2x optical and up to 10x digital zoom.
These are the same picture. One with and one without Depth Effect.
This moss or lichen always grows in this kind of pattern on this kind of rock. Bob thinks it’s following the mineral pattern in the rock.
Can you tell that the ferns have been broken over? This occurs at intervals along the trail. Sherman always wants to smell intently. Looks to me like a place a fairly large animal lay down to rest or sleep.
A nice example of schist. Love the easy stair steps. If they were only all this well planned…

Depth Effect pics of Sherman on a break. You can see how moist his hair is. It’s not raining. It’s this humid. Can it be over 100% humidity and not be raining?
A new rock has appeared on the trail. A large mica flake. VERY shiny. VERY slippery.

The mist and fog deepen in the late afternoon. The bottom photo is from an overlook…
We get to the shelter at 1pm. 3 hours for 5 miles. Nice. This is great time compared to the northern LT where a good day was 1 mph. As I’m unpacking two guys show up to make lunch. Then another with two dogs. Big pointer type dogs. They are very friendly with lots of nervous energy. He sets up a small tent and the dogs crawl in. Like a portable crate. They just lay down together and are mostly quiet.
Later a couple arrives. The woman is thru-hiking the LT with her dad. He needed a break and her boyfriend has come to hike with her. That makes 4 adults and 3 dogs. OK. There’s enough room.
After dinner, 2 women arrive. They are going to tent. As they head for their tent site one gives us each a message of hope flyer from the Jehovah’s Witness. “Thank you,” we say, and they move on to setup their tent.
After eating as it darkens, we all hunker into our sleeping spaces. Reading. Writing. Resting. Small birds are checking the ground right outside the shelter for any small tidbits we have dropped. Night is arriving. Sherman is curled up on the quilt. I’m sitting with it over my knees, typing this. Sleep is calling…