From Didier (written early this morning): We left Eileen, Carol, Rick and Ted around noon yesterday. Bright sunny day, chance of clouds. Very humid so we hiked in a perpetual sauna. Steep trail for the first 1.5 mile. We were so fast that we missed the left turn starting the AT and almost got straight back to Winchester. Fortunately the angel called Instinct pulled my sweaty tee-shirt and we came back for a good start, on the right legs and right path. Not a lot of people on the path. We managed to keep a good pace despite the challenging weight of the bags and every now and then the question what on earth are we doing here? The shelter filled up pretty quickly after we arrived with some hikers coming all the way from Georgia. We were glad to have a roof on our head because a pretty violent storm started around nine and is still going on this morning. We are waiting for it to stop before starting the new leg. Equipment is fine so far. One problem could be the water that we have to boil for ten minutes because it is apparently not tested. That might empty our little gas tanks quickly. I knew I should have brought wine!
Adichat as we say in my mountains,
Didier and Matthieu
Note from Rick & Eileen: Our friends Didier and Matthieu, as you might have guessed, are from France. Among his many talents, Didier has served as a mountaineer and assistant mountain guide (he emphasizes the “assistant”) in the French Pyrenees. So we’re pretty confident he will find a solution to the water problem! Matthieu just graduated from high school in Cambridge, MA and will be attending American University in Washington DC in the fall, studying international relations. We are grateful they are continuing the hike this weekend; Rick is looking forward to rejoining them!