Day 38 – Double Trail Magic Rainbow
Today we all slept in. The collective lack of sleep from Trail Days had caught up with us. We all took the opportunity to catch a few extra Zzz’s.
We only had 13 miles planned today but a good portion of it was uphill with over 3500ft in elevation gain. I felt fresh starting the day. About 4 miles in at Indian Grave Gap we came across our first trail magic. I had an Arnold Palmer, an apple, and banana bread.
Today was a lot of solo hiking which was fine. I tend to get self conscious about my pace when hiking with others. I’ll think “Am I hiking too fast/slow?” Or “I need to push myself to keep up”. Hiking solo eliminates all that potential anxiety.
At almost the exact halfway point for the day I arrived at a bald called the “Beauty Spot”. There were a couple tents set up and another hiker informed me of even more trail magic at this location as well.
The magic at this site was run by a lady called “Trail Angel Mary”. The spread was top notch. Multiple pizzas, pineapple chunks, KFC bucket of crispy and extra crispy fried chicken, chips and dip, soda and beer.
I found a plastic foot upside down in the cooler intended to scare hikers. So naturally, I poured my soda into it and drank from the foot, as one does. I even met the infamous hiker “McDabs”. I last ran into him early in North Carolina but this was my first real interaction with him.
There was some service and was able to post my overdue blogs and sell some covered call stock options. By the time I finished, my stomach was done feeling too full to hike and I resumed my day.
Random thought of the day
Do wood Peckers get CTE?
The second half of the day passed through an area reminiscent of the Smokys. The summit of Unaka Mountain was covered in pine trees and its needles littered the forest floor and felt soft underfoot. I made it into camp at Cherry Gap Shelter just after 5PM.
After a quick dinner we all climbed into our sleeping bags to call it an early night. A fire sounded nice but there were no good seats around the fire pit so that plan was short lived. Tomorrow we have an 18 mile day planned to the highest elevation shelter on the AT at nearly 6300 feet.
Stow away in my pack again tomorrow for Day 39 on the Appalachian Trail.
Thanks for welcoming a liberal California hippie into your Texas friend group. I appreciate that we have the same sense of humor and I appreciate your loyalty in friendship. Looking forward to you coming out to visit on the trail. Ps the fire starter has come in use on a number of occasions, thanks again!
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