I woke up this morning to the sound of Fresh Ground making fresh ground coffee. Seriously, he carries around beans and a grinder and a French press. I woke up and started writing the entry from the night before while he built up a fire in the shelter too. When I finished and actually got up, he made me a cup of coffee and we watched the sun rise up through the trees. It was beautiful and fun and perfect.
Everyone slowly woke up and ate breakfast, everyone getting a cup of coffee who wanted one. When I packed up my bag, Fresh Ground and Mustard both wanted to try out my pack to see how it felt. mustard had been carrying a huge old bag that weighed 60lbs and he was, according to Fresh Ground, ready to go ultralight. They were both impressed with the HMG Southwest. It’s a great bag for a 130lb 5’9 woman AND a 6′ tall muscular good ole boy from Georgia who can carry 60lbs easy. Fresh ground has neck problems and he was pleased with how it felt too.
Dr Love and I headed out around 9. The trail started off nice. I think. To be honest, today is kind of a blur. We hit Clingman’s Dome, the highest point on the AT. We were the only people there and we had a gorgeous day for it.
We added an extra mile to our day when Dr Love thought we could get water at the visitors center. We could not. Half a mile down, half a mile back up.
We kept going, stopping at shelters to warn people that there’d been norovirus at all of them. I had a lovely conversation with a German woman NOBOing. We talked about knee pain and languages, two things I know a lot about.
We got to the top of this huge mountain and this was all it had.
That’s crap, AT.
We hit thunderhead mountain and rocky top at sunset.
There was night hiking and we got to the shelter. Dr love made dinner (it was incredibly good) and got water and even hung food bags while I was generally lazy. And now here I am writing this in bed. I’ll post tomorrow on our easy peasy 17.something miles down to Fontana Dam. For now, sleeeeeeeep because I’m so full of food.
MVP: liptons side with garlic and salmon!
LVP: left knee? Dunno man.
Ps: one of my favorite parts of hiking is horrifying my mother with stories. Just wanted that down for the record. Love you mom. Never gonna stop hiking. Never gonna stop texting you the word poop. ❤