I woke up to a clear blue sky, cold but clear. It took a lot of motivation to move out of my warm sleeping bag. As I left camp at 6:05, I heard the other hikers starting to move in their tents. The trail continued to go up and down with the ridge line. I was taken aback by the beautiful of the seeming endless ridges stretching into the distance.
About an hour into the hike, I ran into a group of section hikers who were breaking camp. One of them was doing trail magic for thru hikers, and he gave me a bag of chips. I am pretty sure I ran into the same guy down south after Fuller Ridge in the first couple weeks of the trek. Really appreciate his generosity, but surprised to see him so far away.
Around 10:30, I had hiked about 13.5 miles and came across a shelter on the trail. As I walked up, I saw Jumper sitting on a log brushing his teeth. I was pleasantly surprised to run into him again. He had taken a long break at a lake and hiked till about 10 pm the previous evening.
We hiked the rest of the day together until I stopped for the night. He said that I kept a good pace, so I led.
As we hiked, we were talking about the guy who gave us some trail magic. I told him of how I thought I had run into him before. The night I had last seen him, he had told me about a lady who was missing. Jumper laughed, because he knew exactly what happened here is the story:
(This happened the evening before Oliver and I reached the campsite on day 9 of the trail)
A lady named Snap was hiking north and was camped when a large storm blew in. It was a very cold evening. There was another guy at the camp site. When the sun came up, he had packed up and saw that Snap was not there, but all her stuff except her pack and wallet remained. He was pretty worried and after drying out all her gear took it down to the road 10 miles away. There he went to the sheriff and reported her missing not knowing anything but her trail name. So they searched her gear and found in the sleeping bag the name Ann Richards, so they issued a missing person’s report for Ann Richards.
Turns out that what happened was Snap had gotten hypothermia and she grabbed her pack and wallet and ran the 10 miles to the nearest road where she was found lying on the side of the road, cold but okay. Ann Richards was not her name. She had bought the sleeping bag used. In the end, she did figure out what happened. She was able to get her gear back and eventually continued on with her trek.
Jumper had run into both the guy and girl and heard both sides of the story. It was crazy and it was good that nothing bad came of it all.
Jumper was great company and we hiked only stopping twice to fill up water. He planned on pushing on to get as near as he could to town by 10 pm, having his family camping nearby to greet him. I did not really want to hike till 10, so we parted at 6:30, near where I planned on staying the night.
At the tent site there were a group of section hikers out hiking the state of Washington, and two Nobos. One of the section hikers name was Jenny. Jenny was from the east coast in Massachusetts and we talked about the Appalachian Trail. She had recently quit her job as a mechanical engineer to go to graduate school and was hiking for a few weeks before starting the fall semester.