Went out of an overnighter on the AT yesterday morning and just got back home. I hiked 14 miles each way spending the night at the new Raven Rock shelter. I was surprised that there was no one at the shelter when I arrived since the weather was incredible and the new shelter equally awesome. I was there about two hours when a black lab came bounding down the access trail right at me. I stood up yelled at the dog to stop, which it did. I then told it to go back, which it did.
About three minutes later, at 6:35pm a girl with a large cooler and a guitar case comes down the trail. Following close behind her were three other people, also carrying coolers and guitars and drums. The hippies had landed. :). They were nice enough and I was fine with them if they were going to be low key.
All that ended when seven more people showed up and it quickly spiraled into a full on drunk fest party. I went off to the side of the area and went to bed at 10:30. They weren't super loud, but there was occasional uproars followed by "shhhh, Steve's trying to sleep". I brought my iPod and headphones along to help me sleep and I honestly couldnt hear the regular din, just the loud fits every so often. I really could have cared less about their partying but at 2am I let them know it was time to be done. As I was walking back to my site, I heard a girl scream she was going to be sick followed by exactly that. Classy!
At 7:30 a young couple packed up and started to go while everyone else slept and I finished breakfast. They told me that the parking area was about 15 minutes away and they might see me before I left since they had to make two trips. I was hoping to be on the trail before they made it back. Just as I was about to leave a cellphone rang in the shelter and I heard the one side of a very odd conversation. The guy hung up and then looked out and saw me and said "someone slashed the tires on all the cars"
I told him that sucked and I wished him well and i headed down the trail. They didn't deserve to have their cars vandalized but they did tell me that they had been using the shelter as a party spot for some time and they had to park on private property to get there. I wonder if a landowner got tired of their cars showing up every Saturday night for party.
I choose this shelter because it's too far for the regular backpackers who typically stop at the shelter 8 miles from the huge parking area. With my light load, it's not terribly difficult to cover the extra miles. No one comes from the north, there is no where to park unless they are doing big miles. Time to scout out some new places that arent so popular but are close enough for me to hit on a Saturday morning.