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I went into this day knowing it was going to be a day of climbing. There were some serious elevation gains to be made but I wanted to push as hard as I could to get as far as I could since I’ll have to cut tomorrow shorter than hoped due to another rainstorm coming in. It seems like I get a few wonderful days and then the sky falls apart followed by a couple more wonderful days. I powered through the climbs today okay. I simply put in my earbuds and listened to Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring audiobook I found on Spotify. As I was nearing the top of the steepest climb of the day, the rains started… 4 hours earlier than I expected. The last I looked, it was 20% rain starting at 8pm. I thought I’d be at the water source with a tent sight near it and comfy in my tent by then. Instead, it was already raining, fog was rolling in and I was approaching the rock known as The Guillotine. I got my picture and video of it quickly and pushed on. I didn’t put my rain gear on because it was still about 55 F and I felt fine. Then the rain picked up and the wind started. That’s when I started to worry and thought back to last Saturday when I was soaking wet getting in my tent and shivering for hours. I saw I was close to Thunder Hill Shelter so I took off as quickly as I could. When I got there, Short Rib was in there keeping dry and warm. I quickly jumped in the shelter, stripped off wet shoes, socks and shirt and changed into warm, dry clothes. I’m 2.6 miles short of my goal for the day but I decided I’m staying put. This will be only the 2nd time I’ve stayed in a shelter but with the heavy rains, that are now pounding on the shelter roof as I write this, I didn’t want to deal with a tent in it when it’s set to continue raining all day tomorrow as well. I set up in the corner but a leak made me have to move my stuff over. Luckily, there’s only three of us ultimately in the tent tonight: Buck, Quitter and myself. Never Better is also here in his hammock. I’m glad I’m not in shelter that’s packed full of people shoulder to shoulder but, of course, I’d be in one that had comments of, “very active mice!” Isn’t that all the shelters though? At least there’s also a bear box here so I didn’t have to deal with hanging my food. There’s been a lot of bear incidents reported lately. Even a bear that has been successfully getting food bags that were properly hung in trees. Ridge runners have mentioned that they’ve had to set a trap for the bear. Anyway, with the shortage of miles from today, I now have to do a 16.5 tomorrow to get to the shelter I wanted to set my tent up at. I had planned a 13 mile day since it would be raining and didn’t want to do my current pace of 17-20 miles. If I can still get to my planned shelter, that will give me 18 mile days after to make it to Waynesboro by the 18th. I will have new shoes and a new hip belt waiting for me there.