I wake to the sound of rain and it slows me down. I roll over, scooch back on to my sleeping pad, cover my head and go back to sleep. When I finally get moving the rain has stopped. I have a dry breakfast, and pack up. I have just over a liter of water and it has to last for two mountains / 5 miles. The climb up Sassafras kicks my butt and I take many breaks sipping my water. The views are great and the down into Cooper Gap goes quicker. I am excited to see a gallon bottle in the gap until I get close and realize it is empty. Disappointed I head up Justus Mountain.
The second climb of the day seems longer, steeper, but I think I am just tireder. Getting over the mountain has its reward though and I know I must go. Water waits at the bottom or so I thought. I am rewarded early with a fresh spring coming right out of the mountain on the trail about halfway down. This is great because I am thirsty and I am very low on water at this point. I stop right there on the side of the trial drop my filter in and fill up both bottles and then myself. I am passed while sitting here by several hikers and dogs. Notably, Missy and Will pass with Tessa? and Molly? their dogs. They are hiking with the dogs off leash and I meet Tessa first, I am not the only one who is thirsty.
I pass Missy and Will again at the bottom they are filling up at Justus Creek and plan to camp at the campsites. I want to get into the shelter for the night and move on to Gooch Mountain Shelter. There are seven of use in the shelter tonight and tents around the area. Mr. Coffee and two other gentlemen are on the bottom and I am on top with three others.
Mr. Coffee has a fire going for his coffee and keeps it going into the evening. I worry about it some because of the winds and sparks. I try out my back country cooking a little with some ramen, potaoes, tuna and peas. It is good, but the peas are crunchy still.
It is cold and windy and it takes a lot to get warm. Everything including the emergency blanket. I decide I will keep that after all. I apologize to the shelter and we all shiver good night.