--> Chairback Gap Lean-to, 17.1 miles
Woke up and got out shortly after Chief. The climb up Whitecap Mountain wasn't too bad, and there were a couple of views while we were above the clouds. The rest of the ridge was less difficult than I thought I would be. It was an easy walk down to Newhall Shelter, where I stopped for a while and ate lunch. From there I decided to go to the Pleasant River ford and campsites and see how I felt there. There is a road nearby because I saw a lot of day hikers out, probably to see the gorges and falls. Gulf Hagas might be fun to go back to sometime. Around that area I started to feel a little sick. After peeing a few times and drinking less water I felt better. I think I may have been drinking too much water. I'll cut back a bit on water intake, but not too much. Don't want the other problem, dehydration.
After fording the West Branch of the Pleasant River I decided to push the four miles to this shelter. It was a long climb, but I was able to get lost in my thoughts and it went by fairly quickly. At least the first half did. There is a false summit on Chairback mountain and I thought I was close to the shelter. However I was still a few hundred vertical feet below the true summit. From there it wasn't too far to the shelter. Only Richard is in the shelter, and Sam is hammocking nearby. The water source is a tiny spring that is down a steep hill. The water doesn't look too bad, and there don't seem to be too many chunks in it.
It was a long day today, 17 miles. I don't know if I've ever walked that far before in a day, let alone hiked that much with a full pack on. Right now my feet are sore, so hopefully by tomorrow morning they'll be less sore and my legs and sholders will feel like the do now. Its getting late and the High Five (Wooly, Xena, Skunky, Cheech, Chong [and Sugaree]) haven't been seen or heard, so I'm hopeful I'll get a night away from all that second-hand marijuana smoke. Chief said he was stopping at the river, so I may see him tomorrow if I don't do a big day. It looks like I'll get to Monson in 2-3 days, which is a bit faster than I thought. I don't have to worry about running out of food. I hope I didn't pack too much in my maildrop, cause my food bag will get very heavy and full again. Heavy backpacks are no fun. Hiker hunger better kick in soon so the food gets lighter. I'm just rambling now, so I'm going to put this notebook away and not use up all of my paper.