Started the day at Indian Grave Gap. It was cold this morning. A lot colder than it had been recently. Must have been in the 30s while eating breakfast and packing up. The wind made it worse.
I read a lot last night and fell asleep around 10:00pm. I am thinking about getting a Kindle so I don’t waste the battery in my iPhone.
Started hiking around 9:15am and it turned into a beautiful day. The first mountain we climbed was called Beauty Spot. It had an exceptional view and an open grassy summit.
Me, Solo, and Coach got out of the wind after taking pictures and waited for Monk. He turned up about 10 minutes later and we moved on.
The next mountain we climbed was named Unaka. It was a 1000 foot climb. I felt great going up. The summit was covered in a spruce grove. Something we have not seen since the Smoky mountains. We stopped and ate lunch in the sun and enjoyed the scenery.
On the way down Unaka my right knee began to bother me. I didn’t slow down and just pushed on. I guess knee pain will be a trend of my thru-hike. Hopefully as I get stronger it will go away.
The rest of my group stopped at Cherry Gap Shelter and filled up their water bottles. I was waiting until we got to camp. We hung out there for about 20 minutes.
Another 4.1 miles later and I am sitting in my tent at the Apple Orchard. A really cool open field with semi flat ground. Mellow Jonny showed back up and gave me a PBR. Much needed.
Tons of thru-hikers here tonight. Tent city. Headstand, Two Packs, Candy Pants, Goat Man, Etcha-Sketch, Jungle Juice, and Michelle. Also my group: Han Solo, Coach, Monk, Mellow Jonny, and myself (Sticks).
Only a 13 mile day. We are taking it easy because Monk is getting off the trail to visit friends once we get to Roan Mountain, TN to visit friends. After that me, Solo, and Coach are going to start doing higher mileage again. Hopefully get to Damascus, VA in 10 days or so.