Family Mule was up most of the night fighting the mice away from the shelter. Yes, David Logan Shelter has a bad mouse problem. Ugh! The morning was chilly. We started packing up around 6:45 and hit the trail around 8. It was a slow moving morning.
The trail was easy walking for the most part. Some slight inclines. We had a few small water crossing but rocks were strategically placed to help you cross with ease. Volunteers are thanked so much along the trail! I personally really appreciate their hard work of placing the rocks and keeping the trail maintained. One spot had a fallen tree across the trail without a way around it. We actually had to go through the tree. It was amusing fighting branches with a full backpack on! I’m sure volunteers will get it cleared as soon as they know about it and have time.
Shaggy caught up with us on the trail. We lost Tiny Turtle at that point. He walked with Shaggy ahead of us. We were planning to stop at the next shelter for lunch, so we didn’t mind that he left us in the dust. I was moving the slowest because my knee was swollen and hurting. I’m sure they will get better soon well hopefully.
After 6.5 miles we ended at Sunrise Shelter. Shaggy and Tiny Turtle were already there relaxing. Well I say relaxing but Tiny Turtle was gathering sticks to put in the fire pit. We decided we were going to stay the night at this shelter and rest for the day. I was happy with the decision. Sunrise Shelter is a platform shelter that could fit probably 5-6 hikers. The shelter has a fire area and picnic table in front but not much tenting area’s around it. We decided to sleep inside the shelter because it was supposed to rain through the night. If we can avoid packing up wet tents then we do.
Shaggy decided to push to the next shelter. He was on a tighter schedule than us. He said his goodbyes and pressed on. Tiny Turtle was worried we would never see him again, which made him very sad. It made him feel better knowing we had Shaggy’s cell number. Again, its the small stuff that can quickly cheer up a child.
The kids went to the water source, which we passed coming to the trail, and filled up water bottles and cleaned the lunch dishes. Everyone has their trail duties. We are a team and everyone has to play their part. I do the cooking. Dreamer is the dishwasher. Tiny Turtle gathers and filters water. Family Mule carries all the food, makes sure none of us falls off cliffs, fights away mice, and basically makes sure everything is ready for the next day’s hike. When we sleep in tents, Tiny Turtle and Dreamer set their tent up together and Family Mule and I set ours up. We were racing on this but the kids consistently beat us considering they have a simple dome tent. We only win when they disagree on something. Considering they like to win, they had tent set up to a science. On a side note, we should have bought ourselves a dome tent.
Tiny Turtle read the book he brought to Family Mule. We have Tiny Turtle read each evening to make sure he keeps his reading skills up and he enjoys reading to us. We also have him read all the signs and warnings, which makes him feel good. Dreamer found a Lord of the Rings book left in the shelter, so she started reading that, while she lounged beside me. It was a relaxing afternoon especially after Family Mule and Tiny Turtle made a fire.
Kim showed up to the shelter. She was so happy to see us. She told Tiny Turtle and Dreamer how she was thinking about them all day. She said they were inspiring. She told Family Mule and I how she thought we were such great parents, which reflects in the way our children handle themselves and their personalities and thinks it is wonderful we are doing this as a family. That was the absolute best compliment we received. We told her we decided her name was Happy Feet. Her blisters are worse today yet she was hiking along. The blisters had actually wore off and it was a bloody mess. She is a strong woman.
About 20 minutes after she arrived, MaGyver showed up also. She said how she was so happy to see all of us there. She thought we would be long gone by now. After dinner a new hiker showed up. He had a hammock tent, which he really liked. For a single person, this may be one of the better options. You have to find the right trees of course but simple and lightweight. He packed a tarp luckily because of the rain coming in this evening. After dinner the camp was silent. Every hikers was writing in their journals. It felt like a classroom as we all set around the fire writing. It was pleasant. After we finished writing and started to all turn in for the night, another hiker showed up named Stump. He was a very nice young man. He quickly ate same dinner and turned in as well. He was pushing over 20 to 30 miles each day.