When I arrived at Mashipacong Shelter, I was pleased to see Pippi and Radio there. We stood around and talked, mostly debating about whether or not we should continue on.
Pippi checked the weather radar from her phone and said it looked like it would rain by 7 p.m. If we moved fast enough, we thought, we could reach the next shelter, 2.6 miles away.
Radio decided to stay, but Pippi and I figured it was worth getting in a few more miles. I didn’t leave right away, though, because I was low on water.
The shelter maintainer had left behind several large containers of water because there was no reliable water source here. I filled up just enough to get me to the next shelter. I didn’t want to take more than I needed because of the limited supply.
Pippi’s estimate for the start of rain wasn’t quite as accurate as we had hoped. A moderately heavy shower started at 6:20 p.m.
She carries a hammock, and soon I saw that she had already stopped and quickly set it up for the night, about a mile before the shelter. As I walked by I shouted, “Goodnight, Pippi!” but I doubted she heard me because of the rain hitting her tarp.
It was still raining when I reached Rutherford Shelter. Stick was inside, just starting to prepare dinner. A section hiker named Arun was also there.
This was Arun’s first time backpacking on the AT, so he had many questions for us.
As soon as I had finished cooking dinner the rain stopped. It was perfect timing, allowing me to set up my tent without getting wet.