Blue bench 1/2 mile from Dick Creek gap

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

This morning I woke to the constitutional need to get out of my bag into some warmer clothes, grab one of my tent stakes, grab my royal paper and head up the hill, away from the stream, with headlamp on, and make a cat hole to do the dirty deed.

Sunrise at the break of , aint she a beaut!

Lots more work than in the city inside a home. It’s about 6am in my tent, waiting for the sun to rise, so I can make breakfast of coffee and pop tarts. I usually have oatmeal, but the storm is a coming with a distant howling wind. I want to eat quickly so I can break camp and be on the trail by 8AM. I have a 5,200 ft mountain to hike over, before the possible thunderstorm moves in. It will be a rainy next 3 days getting into Franklin. I may forego taking a rest day. I’ll decide how I feel when I arrive at the Gooder Grove Hostel. I have a bounce box there with food that I sent from Hiawassee. More later. Time to rise for the day.

I’m at Carter Gap Shelter and camping, arriving here about 90 minutes ago. My knee felt great, so I hiked 13 miles today, rather than the max of 10 miles per day, as recommended by the doctor, for next 100 miles. My knee and all were feeling great. I now expect to be in Franklin, NC by Monday morning. I’ll take a rest day there to take care of body, relax and eat other than my camping foods. Today’s hike was long and typical. When the trail is going up a mountain you can be certain that it’s going up another mountain immediately after I’m off on mountain.

Storms a brewin!

Interesting how the will to survive can create energy. With the howling winds and darkening skies at times it seemed that the forecasted thunderstorms were brewing.

Maybe next time!

I just ket going, knowing that I had several mountains to climb and the tallest one, Standing Tall Mountain, was about 6 miles away. The storm never happened and I got great miles in. I also met a couple from Georgia that talked of one day hiking the entire AT and they became Trail Angels when they gave me a bottle of water, which I drank right down. I met Shaggy 2, Elf Ears, Earl Grey and a couple others whose names I don’t recall. Earl Gray was formerly Tenderfoot, who I met and camped with at Bly Creek, along with Earl Grey’s dad, Steve. Earl Grey resulted from the large quantity of Earl Grey teabags he carries. I’m so glad to be in my tent 75 yards from the shelter, it is much more peaceful.

I may add to my day later, but I just remembered to say: Who could have known the greatest tasting treats for a snack would be a flour tortilla filled and rolled with honey peanut butter and a single slice of Spam?!

The Kings Table

It was delicious and satisfied my need for calories on a very long mountain trail. I continue to read Viktor Frankl before sleep but with the hiking I fall quickly to sleep. Much to my pleasure, I have hung my bear bag on a branch 15 ft out and about 30 ft high. I say this because it meets the standards for hanging a bear bag from a tree, which can be rare, despite all of the trees in the area. I took my prescription of 600 mg of ibuprofen after I stretched. I plan a 12 mile day tomorrow to Rock Gap, followed by only a 4 mile hike to catch a ride to a hostel. I’m looking forward to a shower, getting my clothes washed, trimming my nails, all 20 of them. I’ll tour town too and try to just chill on Tuesday, before I get hiking to NOC near Bryson City. The Smokies are coming in about 7–10 days. Let the fun begin! Good night

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