Asleep by 8pm. Sherman wakes me up about 1:30am. It was pee time. Afterwards, he crawled under the quilt. He was so happy. Lick. Lick. Lick. Lick. Lick. Lick.. Awake by 5am.
It was cold, so I just stayed under cover til around 6. We were snuggly warm. I put his fleece coat on to see if it would keep him warm enough that he’d consent to wear it. It’s clear he doesn’t like it. He mostly stands still. Won’t sit down. Won’t lay down. Won’t pee. He did poop wearing it… maybe that’s progress.
I leave it on through eating. When I’m packing I take it off. He’s shivering. I pick him up. His head and back and stomach are all very warm. Pads are cool. But he’s been standing in the cold wooden floor. Not curled up on the quilt. Not sure what to conclude, so I don’t. I just observe. I know that after 15 minutes of hiking he’ll be warm as will I.
We walk away from the shelter at 8. Our target today is Peru Peak Shelter. 15 miles. The guidebook says it’s about a 9 hour hike.

fullsizeoutput_23e2The trail heads uphill in a nice gradual path.
That map says we’ll walk past two “Rock Garden.” No Idea what that means. Then we walk around a corner and…
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fullsizeoutput_23f1(Later, I discover there’s a tradition to place a rock. I didn’t. I just stopped and enjoyed.)
We then have a 6 mile gradual downhill following a robust stream for many miles. It so nice to walk by fast flowing, falling, splashing, bubbling and burbling water. A glorious cacophony of sounds.
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fullsizeoutput_23f9At a side-trail junction we find this display. A fragment of a stone wall with old farm tools displayed on top. Who… When… Why…
 
On the way downhill we pass Little Rock Pond.
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fullsizeoutput_23fcThe colors here are stunning. Mixed with the green of the pines and the blue of the water. Yum!
At the bottom of this grade there’s a trailhead. Grasshopper is standing by the signboard and looking at his map. A day-hiker recommended he take an older trail that follows another river. It rejoins the LT about 1.5 miles from Peru. This is Old Job Trail. There’s a shelter about 3 miles in. We look at the map together and decide to take this alternate route.
There’s a scent on this trail that has totally captured Sherman. He’s crazy. Running forward, backward, left, right, circling in the woods, near, far. After about 5 minutes of this I tell him to come to me as he passes by and he does! Leash time… We walk to the shelter. There’s a poster on the wall about this area. There was a small town here of about 100 people until the early 20’s. They farmed and made charcoal. There’s a mountain of sawdust from that process about 100 yards up river from the shelter. There are also apple trees scattered amongst the other trees in the shelter area. The red one’s are full of worms. The green one’s are not. We have lunch at the shelter.
Then it’s onward toward Peru Peak Shelter.This trail follows another fast paced brook. The joins a road that is blocked off, but turns left and continues. It has snow mobile, snowshoe, and cross-country skiing signs.
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fullsizeoutput_2400 This was such a pleasant walk. A real “Walk in the Woods”.
fullsizeoutput_2402As we approach the LT there is a long stretch of these puncheons, sometimes called Bog Bridges. There is no water or mud under most of them on the trail now. Late in the season. And, the result of 4-5 years of drought.
It’s a gradual uphill back to the LT. Then 3/4 miles to Peru Peak Shelter. There’s a couple there making a fire. They greet Sherman first. This is usually what happens.
The woman is just back from teaching English in China for seven years. Quite a story. We all want to know about China. Did she do this? Did she do that? What did they think about this or that? Fascinating stories!
She and her man are hiking the Appalachian Trail. They started in Maine about 5 weeks ago. They think they’ll be done — reaching Springer Mountain in Georgia — in mid-November. These are the 2nd AT SOBO hikers I’ve met who expect to be hiking the end of the AT in winter.
I’m concerned about tonight. The temperature is dropping. I’m tired and crawl into bed with Sherman about 7:30. It’s supposed to freeze tonight. This’ll be our first freeze on the trail.