I did another relatively long day and made it from Blue Mountain to Dick’s Creek Gap. The weather really warmed up and after about 11:00 I was able to hike in shorts and a t-shirt.
I had my first encounter with “trail magic” today. Trail magic is when someone does something nice for hikers such as giving them food and drink or a place to shower, sleep and wash clothes. My first trail magic came from a 2010 AT thru-hiker who had set up some chairs next to his car at a place where the trail crosses a gravel road. He had driven all the way up from Atlanta and would spend the day handing out soft drinks, beer, Oreos, Snickers, and later in the day he was going to grill hot dogs. I was his first thru-hiker of the day and I drank a Mello Yellow (my first ever) and ate Oreos and Snickers while he told me about his thru-hike and gave me some tips about the trail ahead. I wish I could remember his name so that I could thank him in print…I’ll just call him “Paying It Forward”.
I was able to make arrangements with my Dad so that he and his wife, Marilyn, could pick me up at Dick’s Creek Gap and take me to their home so that I can spend Easter Sunday with them. They took me out for a nice dinner and I was able to take my first shower in four days, wash my clothes, and make a trip to the grocery store to pick up enough food to get me to my next resupply point, the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina.
So on Easter Sunday I will take a “nero”, which means “near zero”. A “zero” means a day in which you walk zero miles (a day off) and a “nero” means you walk less than a normal day’s mileage. On my first nero I’ll go to church with Dad and Marilyn, have a nice lunch at their home, then get back on the trail in the late afternoon. There are shelters at four miles and at ten miles from Dick’s Creek Gap and I’ll camp at one of them, depending on how much hiking time I have before dark.
The forecast is for rain all day on Sunday so it looks like I will get my first experience setting up camp in the rain. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I’m including a photo that I took today of what I call “Monkeyback Rock”. My grandsons, Jackson and Liam, like to play a game that’s like piggyback except they call it monkeyback. When I saw these rocks I thought of them and all the time we’ve spent playing monkeyback.