Despite my ear plug I awoke to the sound of a monster snore reverberating off the cathedral ceiling of the the 100 year old church. I had never heard a snore so loud. I turned over and tried to go back to sleep. As the sun rose I pulled a sock over my eyes to squeeze in just a few more minutes of sleep. A hiker named caboose tapped me on the shoulder and said some guys are here to see you. It was 7:30 and Cecil and his friend Donnie (an ultra runner) had arrived a lot earlier than I thought they would. I fumbled for my glasses and staggered out to me meet them. We figured out a plan for a 22 mile hike over the next two days and Cecil went to drop off his car at our end point as I got ready. We were off to the trail by 9:30.
We started at the Brushy Mountain Outpost and crossed over interstate 77 into the woods. It was a fine day with warm sun and moderate trail with some mud. Cecil and Donnie meandered down the trail stopping to look at wildflowers and identify bird calls. About 5 miles in I realized I had reached my 100 mile mark. I made a little sign like people do.
At lunch time we found Bob taking his rest and joined him. We figured we would be camping at the same place too. We walked most of the day on a ridge through the green tunnel with no view. We took our time and I was relieved to be hiking with friends.
We arrived to the shelter about 5 and set up our tents. As we were finishing dinner 1 older hikers came bounding down the hill. It was Genius and Puck. Boy, could they talk. They stayed in the shelter that night and between their loud conversation and the relentless whippoorwills I got very little sleep.
Miles: 591.7 – 603.6 (11.9)