Day 47: Helveys Mill Shelter

Day 47. Got WiFi last night, so week 6 video is up! As for today’s update, it was a bit of an odd day because it breezed by so quickly. Probably because I didn’t start until 11:30 and most of the hiking was along ridge lines at a brisk 3mph. I rolled into camp just after 7pm and that was after taking an hour break at a roadside convenience store/deli.

Spending last night at that hostel was nice, but it was a really odd place. I learned they used to have a hiker bunkhouse separate from the house, but it was closed down by the Fire Marshall for breaking just about every code known to man. No bathroom, no emergency exit, too many beds … just your typical thrown together POS meant to milk hikers dry.

That mentality continues on still, as they charged me for everything. A ride to the trail? $3. Breakfast? $5. A beer (that he offered me)? $3. Apparently the $35 a night for a bed simply wasn’t enough. I’d advise any hikers to avoid Garden Mountain Hostel unless you are desperate.

We wanted to get to the trail at 9, but the owner didn’t even wake up until 9:30. Then he and his farmhand took their time with breakfast and chores and finally stopped us off at 11:30. I realize this man opened his house to us, and I’m trying not to be ungrateful, but their is also some decency expected in hostel stays on this trail. I was frustrated to say the least, and eager to move on.

When we got to the trail head it was snowing hard and below freezing. But after about 30 minutes of hiking, I was plenty warm. The sun even came out and melted the snow. It’s amazing how different it quickly was. Take a look at these photos, taken 30 minutes apart:

The snow and cold returned fast after that, but I hardly noticed. It was 16 miles to a road crossing where the Brushy Mountain Outpost was located, and I was on a mission. I barely stopped for more than a few minutes and breezed to the outpost 16 miles away in just 5 and 1/2 hours. That’s crazy fast! I don’t feel like I rushed it, but the hiking was very easy. And the reward was a great dinner. The outpost is basically a very small market with just 2 shelves of hiker-oriented food and gear items, but it also has a grill that cooks up hot food and makes a killer ice cream milkshake. I downed a burger and fries in record time and even enjoyed the cold shake, not caring that it was still freezing outside.

At this point, Ridge, Autopilot, and Dragon (new friend met at the hostel last night) were also at then outpost. We all decided to slowly and begrudgingly hike the next 2 miles to the shelter after an hour of warming up and chowing down. I bought a few more snacks than headed out.

The final 2 miles to the shelter were an easy walk down the road and back up a single mountain. Unfortunately, there was also a river crossing that the past 2 days of snow and rain eagerly fed. I tried my best to hopscotch rocks and logs across but miscalculated the last step … falling calf deep into the river with both legs. Damn! Nothing to do but curse loudly and hike on, but I’m frustrated at my stupidity because now those socks and boots will be frozen stiff tomorrow morning (sigh).

Have I mentioned yet that I am REALLY sick of this cold weather???

Hello Neiman (Sharkbait)!

  • Start Mile: 575.4
  • Start Time: 11:30
  • End Mile: 593.4
  • End Time: 19:15
  • Miles Hiked: 18.0
  • Miles to Go: 1597.5
  • Lodging: Helveys Mill Shelter

8 thoughts on “Day 47: Helveys Mill Shelter

  1. Right now, on Apruary 16, I have a deep sense of empathy for all people still struggling through winter. I also have a deep hatred for wet feet. Hoping tomorrow’s hike brings you to a place where you can warm up a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Speaking of snow & cold… we’ve had better days too. It seems like all I have done for the past 3 days is shovel damp snow – not fun. We are still supposed to get 1-2″ of snow several times this week, but for the present, our sidewalks & driveways are “dry”. Sorry to hear about the dunking at the last crossing, not to mention the less than hospitable hostel. But… the sun seems to be shinning again, and hopefully this is the end of your cold/snow/wet weather.
    mom & dad
    p.s. I hate wet boots too

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jack’s mom here. Loving the videos and blogs! I’m getting a really good idea about what it’s like in the trail. Thanks so much! You don’t know me, but I’m getting to know you! I hope I can give you some trail magic some day! Happy trails!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Me too… I hate wet/frozen boots, and frozen water supplies! It can only get better, although the heat and humidity will also get old at some point in the not-to-distant future. Breezy ridgelines will soon be appreciated -for the views and the cooling breeze! But it’s all work! You’re doing just GREAT man. Keep on truck’in!


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