I slept poorly: woke up too warm and was awake for a while untill I eventually climbed out of sleeping bag, then woke up later too cold and was awake for a while untill I eventually climbed back into the sleeping bag, then woke up with a full bladder and unsuccessfully tried to sleep through that.
Frankly, behind all of this it was probably just nerves.
When we got up I felt better, I switched on the hostels perculator and we had coffee (how can a day starting with coffee not turn out a great day!), my legs felt good and I felt mentally strong. Trevor said he felt we were going to be “moerse lucky with Moosilaukee” (American friends: “moerse” is an extreme version of “very”).
It wasn’t not tough. But it was just another mountain. We have climbed many mountains in our lives and this was just another one. We were both strong and I loved the climb (up and down), I thoroughly enjoyed the morning. But we do know one thing, we did well today, but the challenge through the Whites is that we have to do it again tomorrow, and then the next day, and the next one… untill we have done it for 200km….
We had a great introduction to weather on the summits of the Whites. Though it was a beautiful day we got to the top and suddenly it was cold, clouded over and windy (exactly as we often get in the Drakensberg):
I am not as porky as I appear in the picture above, its just a bad photo of me 😀
Coming down we walked for about 1km next to this cascading waterfall. See the man in the picture to appreciate the scale.
There was an adult with a group of teenagers coming up the trail to the waterfall. They walked together in twos and threes. Two boys stood aside to make way for me as I was clambering down a boulder. The one asked if he can give me a hand. A thru-hiker walking behind us said I should have told the boy I walked all the way from Georgia and need no help, but I wasnt offended at all – I thought it was quite sweet (I am after all probably as old as his grandmother!)
After 6 hours we were down Moosilaukee and how welcome to see trail magic. But … as we walked towards the picnic table in the parking lot where it was set up, a law enforcement officer stepped out of his car and started arguing with the trail angels (a softly spoken man and his bouncy outgoing wife). He told them they need a permit to “provide a service”, that doing trail magic is providing a service, and that they need to pack up and leave immediately. He was really unpleasant – he went back to his car and sat there making sure they were obeying his order. They had no choice, but managed to slip us each a sandwich and a soda while they were packing up. They live 2 hours from the trail and came to the trail for the weekend: today was their third day doing magic. See their number plate:
After the sandwich and soda we started walking again. It went okay for another hour or two but after 8 hours of walking (in the Whites 😀) we were getting fatigued. We couldnt stop untill we either got to the next shelter or find a stelth camping spot – which we eventually did a kilometer and a half before the shelter.
Tomorrow we will go over our next two 4000 + (feet) peaks, and then we have to go into town to re-supply (and charge) for the next 6 days.
Thanks for all the good luck wishes you all sent.