Day 45: Chatfield Shelter to Maul Knob Shelter

Today’s mileage: 18.4
Total mileage: 556.1

We woke up to rain this morning, but at least we got to start our day off dry in the shelter. We geared up for the rain, preparing ourselves for the worst. But it actually ended up being a pretty good day despite the rain. It wasn’t pouring, it wasn’t windy, and it wasn’t cold. All factors that we’ve dealt with before, today seemed like nothing compared to those cold rainy days. The rain let up in the afternoon and I’m happy to report that my new Marmot raincoat performed very well in the wet conditions.

A couple of miles into the day, we came upon the Lindamood Schoolhouse. Built in 1894 and in use until 1937, the one-room schoolhouse was right off of the trail. We went inside to check it out and take a break from the rain. It was a typical one-room schoolhouse with the rows of desks on each side, a wood stove in the center of the room, and a chalkboard up front. There was also an American flag with what I believe had 44 stars to reflect the time period of the school, a list of punishments for the students, and a list of rules that the teacher had to follow. For example, boys would be lashed for playing with girls and girls would be lashed for playing with boys. For every 3 feet of a tree that you climbed, you would get a certain number of lashes. I don’t think I’d want to go to this school! The teacher wasn’t allowed to go to a barbershop because it was apparently a bad place for them to hang out in?! And male teachers only would get one night off each week to take a girl on a date. They had to be at school for 10 hours each day and were allowed to read books in their spare time. There was nothing else listed, so if they weren’t teaching, they better be reading! Okay, not only would I not want to be a student at Lindamood School, I would never be a teacher there. I love hanging out at barbershops and I also like to eat and sleep in my spare time. Those activities weren’t approved on the list, so think I’m out.

We had some beautiful hiking today through pastures and fields. We even came upon a horse carcass. Beside the trail we noticed a horse skull. Then, we noticed a brown pile off the trail. It’s what we thought it was unfortunately and I took a look at it for about 10 seconds before deciding to hike on. It was very sad to me, but Miles was more fascinated with it. What we didn’t understand is why the skull was in a completely different location with no skin remnants, but the body had hair still covering the entire thing. It was very odd and like I said, not something I wanted to spend too much time looking at. I suppose its death will remain a mystery to us.

We decided to stop at the Red Barn Restaurant for their hiker burger. It was a good meal to get us through most of our hike, so I’m glad we stopped to take a break and again, get out of the rain for a bit. We had a few ups today over Little Brushy and Brushy Mountains and the crest of Walker Mountain. We had to go up and over several stiles today, which is a little more difficult to do with a full pack and the fact that they’re wet. We did fine with the stiles, although Miles did have a fall today. If you can believe it, he’s fallen more than I have this month. I have zero and he’s got about 4.

We got to Darth Maul, I mean Maul Knob Shelter around 5 to find it already full and several tents set up. I wasn’t expecting to run into this many people, but I think some people didn’t want to hike in the rain, so they zeroed at the shelter. We set up our tent and thankfully it hasn’t rained yet tonight, so I hope it stays that way for us.

HUGE milestone today by the way. We are now officially one-quarter of the way through the AT!!! We just have to do this three more times and we’re golden. We definitely had our challenges during this first section, but we can only hope that we can continue to endure and make it all the way home. We would much prefer walking all the way to Maine rather than having to take a plane, train, or automobile.

Miles isn’t feeling good tonight. His stomach started bothering him an hour or so after dinner. I feel fine, so we’re not sure what’s going on. Hopefully he feels better in the morning.

And the debate of the day is, why is Little Brushy taller than Brushy Mountain. Better yet, why are we hiking another Brushy Mountain in three days?

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