This is the view we woke up to. The birds started singing really loudly this morning, and the sun streamed through the trees, and it was really a beautiful spot, but I woke up feeling really not well, and knew I was going to have a tough day.
I pretty much was in survival mode, and tried to stay hydrated and fueled up as best I could. We came across several day hikers who kept making comments about the upcoming trail, especially about how lovely it was. Finally one of them mentioned that there was water you could get into. It was so warm hiking, we began to get excited about this idea. At one point we came upon 13 girls from an all girls schools who were backpacking. They looked to be carrying really heavy packs, and one girl had a huge cooking pot strapped to the top of hers. They all let us pass.
We passed through a virgin forest that had a sign that explained that it was being studied. It had in its midst a 300 year old chestnut tree.
It just kept getting warmer and warmer, and at one point we hiked about 25 yards above a large reservoir with cool, green water in it. We wanted so badly to be in that water, but the slope down to it was so steep, neither one of us was willing to haul packs back up to the trail.
We finally came to a really nice bridge over a nice creek. It had a waterfall that fell into a pool that was about waist-high - just deep enough to get totally under water! It was torture and sweet relief at the same time, because the water was icy cold! This was the best break ever. It was what I really needed to continue hiking that day, especially with the heat. I felt better the rest of the day.
After this point, the trail followed a really beautiful mountain stream called Brown Creek, and there were signs along the way explaining that there was a settlement along this creek in the early 1900's that consisted of freed slaves. It was one of my favorite parts of the trail so far.
We reached US 60 and found a cooler of soda left as trail magic, and sat in the shade by the road and drank them. There was a strong breeze here, and we really enjoyed it. At this point, we had also reached the 800 mile mark on the trail!
Whe we sat there, 4 hikers got out of a van who were just returning to the trail from Trail Days. It was Fatherman, Crush, Medicine Man and Big E, all knew to us. They had been off the trail for a week.
We all began a really long climb that I thought I would never reach the top of. It went on forever!
I hiked and visited with Medicine Man for a while and enjoyed our visit. He hikes in a kilt, is 25, from Pennsylvania, and is homesick.
That evening we created Bald Knob, had beautiful views, and watched 2 deer cross the hillside. We hiked on and camped in a meadow with the four from the van, and another hiker, DK, a young girl who was also returning from Trail Days. We camped at mile 807.4, at Hog Camp Gap.
- Steady and F100