Journal 240-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Sunday–October 17, 2021
Trail Day–240
Trail Mile–12.2/2400
Remaining Miles–217.8
Location–USFS-10 (521.4) to Mad Tom Notch Road (533.6), then to Yellow Deli Hostel, Rutland

We’ve been hiking around bad weather. Made for a short day yesterday in order to avoid a thunderstorm forecast for early afternoon. It hit just as predicted, but we managed to finish just before it came through. The rain continued the afternoon but stopped during the night, leaving a cloudy morning. Storms are forecast again for this afternoon. If we get out from the hostel early (and we do–six o’clock) then hit the trail shortly after seven, we’ll be able to finish a 12-mile day before four. Ahh, and we’re back hiking shortly after seven. Great, Barry–thanks!

Hiking with me today are Kitchen Sink & Slim Jim. It doesn’t take long to realize this day is going to prove a tough go–mud, lots of ankle-deep mud. And of course there’s plenty more up and down going, 2,800 feet of ascent, 1,900 feet of descent. The climbs take us up and over Styles Peak, Peru Peak, and Baker Peak. During the course of the day, we pass through two wilderness areas, Peru and Big Branch.

It’s been a difficult day hiking the constant mud–with plenty more boulders, rocks, and roots thrown in. Yet we manage to finish by three-thirty. We’re no more back in Barry’s van and on the road to Rutland than the sky opens. What good fortune to have completed the day before the storm hit.

Evening is spent once more at Yellow Deli Hostel in Rutland–supper at the beautiful deli there…


Henceforth I ask not good fortune.
I myself am good fortune.
(Walt Whitman)

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