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Album: journal:20070220

20 Feb 2007: day 11
Start Destination Daily Miles / Total
Laurel Rd & NC101 Blackjack Lodge 10.8 today / 129.8 total

Last night was really warm and perhaps my bet night of sleep yet. Maybe Ann drugged the food? I slept soundly from 19:00 to 03:00 then woke up a few times until about 05:00 then slept through to 07:00. That was 11-12 hours of sleep. To top it off I woke up without all the usual stiffness and soreness. My body is getting used to the routine.

I said goodbye to Kieth then headed down the road. Just about when I was getting worried that I somehow missed it I arrived at the trailhead for the Neusiok Trail which runs North-South through this section of the Croatan National Forest. The weather had been fairly warm so I was hiking without my fleece jacket. There were some clouds and an earlier forecast had predicted a chance of rain, but it looked good for the moment.

The entire Neusiok Trail is part of the MST, but the road had intersected the trail 1.6 mileds from it's terminus at Oyster Point. I checked and rechecked the guidebook and maps. Each said to hike out to the end then retrace your steps back to the road. That is really annoying but that is what I did. It was nice to to the 3.2 mile roundtrip withought a pack though. Although there was a brief sprinkle of rain the walk was a pleasant one.

Reunited with my pack I lay down on the trail to soak up the newly emerged sun and read from the guide. I decided to finish tomorrow on this side of the Neuse River ferrry crossing and thus maximize my National Forest time. I'd cover around 30 miles for these two days.

Of course not even a mile later I discovered a small AT-style, 3 sided wooden shelter and decided to spend the night there instead of going a little bit further. The shelter is obviously new and I wasn't expecting it. I like this sort of surprise. Thanks Carteret Wildlife Club for the blackjack lodge. I might not see another until near the end of the journey.

Time passed quickly at the shelter. It almost 18:00 already and I haven't even mentioned the F-15's yet. I'll save that for tomorrow.

The barometer is still dropping. There might be more rain tonight although the sky is still clear.

Goodnight.

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