--> Wilson Valley Lean-to, 15.6 miles
Dennis showed up to the shelter last night, so there were three of us, but it still was not crowded at all. Woke up early this morning and couldn't tell if it was raining or the trees were all dripping. It was the trees. It might as well have been raining, though, with all of the water that dripped and rubbed onto me. The climbs up Colombus and Third Mountains were rough, but I had an energy bar on top of Third Mountain and felt a lot better. I quickly made it to Barren Mountain where I met Seabird, another SOBO. I continued to the next leanto for lunch and water break. Seabird caught up just as I was leaving, but she said she was aiming for this shelter tonight. The last 4.7 miles were killer, with some fords and lots of slippery and wet roots and rocks. I made it here eventually. The Beatles' "Baby You're a Rich Man" has been playing in my head since lunch. Not that that's a bad thing. Right after I got to the shelter, a NOBO section hiker showed up. After a short break he decided to push to the next shelter. As he was leaving a group of kids showed up. They are tenting somewhere behind the shelter and I can hear them setting up. I think they are only going shelter to shelter which means the will be in the woods for a while. I set of my "I'm not dead" beacon (the Spot), and am waiting a while before making dinner. Tonight I will finally eat some of the mashed potatoes I brought. I think I've carried them long enough. Richard still hasn't been seen yet, I wonder if he's still coming all the way here. I'm also wondering if it would be entertaining to go watch the group in the woods. Some of them probably have no idea what they're doing. No trail name yet.One will come sooner or later.
Tomorrow afternoon I'll be in Monson with a cold beer and a hot meal. Yum, I can't wait. My right knee has started hurting on the descents today. I hope it just needs a day off to recover, which it will get tomorrow and the day after. The maintainer for this section just arrived and he seems like a nice guy.