Pink Eye – Days 11 thru 15

Day 11 – Zero Day

Well, I got confirmation last night. My wife’s “allergy to goose down” is really pink eye. She is fine, but I now have it. I also have some $9 drops from Walmart that might make it go away faster.

Jim and Judy are the most wonderful hosts. They are our daughter-in-law’s grandparents. Not sure how that makes them related to us, if nothing more they are dear friends we are lucky to have.

Too long at Walmart. Two trips to the outfitter, who knew picking out socks could take so long? Jim and Judy were happy to oblige, they hiked the AT over the course of a few years and probably understand where we are.

Our older son showed up a bit before dinner, he would be spending the night and hiking with us for the first bit tomorrow.

Steak dinner at the exclusive Jim and Judy’s

I just realized the Judy got cut out of that image, she is a very important part of Jim and Judy. I need more work on my ussie skills.

Day 12 – Rockfish Gap to Blackrock Hut

The weather is not great for entering SNP. Rain is forecast for the next few days. We are hiking with one of our boys, nice weather would be…. nice… but we’ll take what we get.

The ten miles before Jim and Judy got Sam went by too fast. Spending time with adult children is precious and I relish every moment.

Sam and his Mom. What a special day.

We arrived at Blackrock Hut just after the thunder started but before the rain. There were four others already there, but they shifted around and made room for us.

They were all hiking South and were full of stories of what to expect and places to stay. They raved on Mountain Home B&B.

Day 13 – Blackrock Hut to Pinefield Hut

After leaving the hut we saw no one today. It could be because it rained pretty much all day and our heads were constantly pointed at the trail. Or perhaps it is a rainy weekday and everyone else is in the office. In any case, the trail is still exciting on days like today.

Nice view on a rainy day.

Due to the rain and the desire to take advantage of shelters in the storms, our day would be the shortest mileage on a full day of hiking.

Once we arrived at the hut, the rain did stop, the sun came out, and we were afforded a few hours to dry everything out. Needless to say, only our rain gear was wet.

Day 14 – Pinefield Hut to Bearfence Hut

Wind has been the one constant one this trip. The weather was supposed to be cool but nice today, but the wind had other plans. Sun, clouds, spitting snow, repeat, over and over.

We did hit out 200 mile point today. It took two tries to get our marker looking halfway decent.

200 miles. SNP is super sweet.

We would meet Mike (father) and Sam (son) before we got to the hut where we would all be staying. They are out for a pretty long section hike. It turns out that Mike has work in our city, right down the road from where we live.  It is still windy and getting colder as the sun sets, so we didn’t talk as long as I would have liked.

Day 15 – Bearfence Hut to Bird’s Nest #3

We got out of camp just as Mike and Sam were stirring. Ann likes to get close to five miles knocked out before breakfast. I’m happy to eat where we slept or at the first good view.

Beautiful sunrise are almost as common as the wind.

My job is to boil the water while enjoying this view

Today we met Fire Flo, finishing up a thru-hike that started late April last year. We also met Spicy Ramen, out for a long section hike. We would play leapfrog with them over the next few days.

The day got colder and windier. We ducked into SkyLand for some water, a lot of really smart backpackers were staying there for the night. The fireplace was warm, the restaurant smelled delicious. Just six more miles to the hut, my wife said as she darted out the door.

Right off the trail in SNP. Line was too long.

The pain in my right foot started about two miles after we left SkyLand. My, it was warm and inviting back at SkyLand.


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