July 17 Smith Gap Road to Kirkridge Shelter 27.2 kms

Got to Leroy A Smith Shelter turn off but didn’t bother going to the shelter or water source as we still had plenty of water from the previous day. Rain started at Hahn’s overlook but with all the rain there wasn’t any drinkable water about, Got to Wind Gap and someone had kindly dropped off some water in large containers.

Fiiti and Maxie then put on the pace and left me behind. It was a boring miserable day with a rocky path and my new boots started to hurt my feet. I got to wolf Rocks bypass and couldn’t stand my boots any longer as they had rubbed the top of my feet raw. I put on my town shoes which were unsuitable for rock climbing of any kind and took the by pass Amazingly I met Fiiti and Maxie where the by pass rejoined the main track. They were not impressed with their rock climb.

Got to shelter and Maxie after much discussion decided to camp whilst us girls took to the shelter. I wondered why two girls arriving before us were jammed up in one corner I thought they were just being nice and making sure there was heaps of room for people in the wet weather. Tried to dress my feet but the dressings wouldn’t stay on. One more hiker arrived. He wasn’t very talkative so we let him be and he made his bed up next to the other 2 girls. Fiiti meanwhile proceeded to play with her torch and spotted what I thought was a bike tyre right above my sleeping bag. Tyres don’t usually move but this one did. It was a big rat catcher snake and decided it had had enough of Fiiti and I and wound itself along to the other corner. Suddenly I was everyone’s best friend and cuddle companion as they tried to move as far as possible away from the snake. It certainly broke the ice with our silent mate who ended up one space away from the snake who had taken residence behind the mailbox with the hut book in it. “Damn I was going to read that” There was then, much discussion on who should leave the shelter the snake or us. No one wanted to handle the snake and no one wanted to go set up their tent on a wet night. So the snake stayed, then began the teasing of Mr Talkative not as to whether there was enough room in his sleeping bag for the snake and him.

About 11pm when we were asleep a group of 4, a girl and 3 guys arrived. I was a bit pissed that they chose to arrive at that time. On seeing the spare space under the snake the girl took it while the guys slept in the dirt under the eaves. @ of us went to sleep happy, Mr talkative not because he no longer was next to the snake and me because I knew karma would be served in the morning.



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