Carter Gap Shelter and "Plan B"

My original plan was to only hike about 8.5 miles on Friday and spend Friday night at Carter Gap Shelter. I typically like to give myself room for error in making plans just in case I run into any delays during my trip and this was one of those times.  I finally arrived at Carter Gap Shelter, but there didn't seem to be any room left in the shelter (see pic). Seeing a shelter that looked as if it had collapsed on itself isn't very reassuring just in case I decided to stay inside a shelter on this hike.  Truth be known it wasn't that tough of a call since the mice I had crawling over me at Hawk Mountain Shelter during Hike #1 took all of the thrill out of sleeping in one of these shelters.  And since I know someone will inquire... Yes, I double checked to make sure there weren't any hiking boots sticking out from underneath the rubble.  Apparently the Wicked Witch of the East escaped for now.

Luckily for me the weather was near perfect, the elevation changes weren't too bad and I was feeling good.  Since there was plenty of daylight left I decided to push forward. After looking at my map I decided to try for Big Spring Shelter before nightfall. Big Spring Shelter was about 7 miles further than my original plan for the day. It was on the other side of Albert Mountain (elevation 5,250) but I was feeling good and decided to go for it.