Day 29 – What a busy day! I did sleep so much better in my tent and although I got up early I didn’t get out of there until 8 AM. I made sure to eat a good breakfast since it was going to be such a long hike today. What a beautiful day! Totally opposite from the day before. It was another Carolina Blue sky with temperatures in the 70’s. I stopped at a creek to have my lunch of cheese and Snickers Bar topped with peanut butter. A family came by, grandpa, 2 sons , and a young grandson. That was really cool.
I was making pretty good time despite the straight up mountain. I went through a thick dark forest of pines, rhododendrons, and azaleas. It was a different sort of hike through there. I had to keep my eyes peeled up trail today to be sure there were no creepy crawleys sunning on the path. There have been a couple guys coming up on Rattlers on the trail, so I would like to avoid that. My pack seems to be bothering me mid-afternoon. I think if I do long days, I need to be sure and find a nice peaceful spot and sit for a while with my pack off. I will see how that goes. The trail goes through the town of Hot Springs tomorrow and I need to resupply my food. I will be careful to get only what I need this time. I haven’t decided if I will definitely stay there for the night or not. After today the thought of it sounds pretty good.
I ran across Freight Train lounging on the side of the trail. He caught up with me after about an hour so I was sure he would have beat me to the shelter. He stopped for water so that put him behind me. The shelter here only holds 6 and I was lucky enough to get the last spot. There are plenty of tent sites so we have a large group of mostly people I know, and all of a sudden this girl walked up. To my surprise it was Aubrey, aka Bumblebee, from Iowa. She was one of the first girls I started walking with or wind up camping or getting a hostel with. I lost her somewhere before Nantahala. I was glad to see her! There was also a guy and his wife and he had on a UNC shirt, Don, so I said “Go Heels” when he passed by to hang his food bag. He liked that. Everyone has retreated to their tents or bags so I bid you a Good Night and Sweet Dreams!