The rain overnight wasn’t a washout. It was on and off moderate showers that kept waking me up and lulling me back to sleep. At about 7 I heard the voice of an old man talking nonstop. I packed up my things and headed down the hill to get my food bag and eat breakfast. The old man was named Larry and he was about 70. He had worked on the AT doing trail maintenance for the last 30 years. He said he had walked over 10,000 miles on this section. He had brought a trash bag for us hikers to deposit our waste. He also offered to slack pack us. I took him up on the offer as did Chug and Skunk. I packed my day pack and gave Larry my big pack. He would meet us 7 miles down the trail before the next shelter.
I was feeling good with a relatively good nights sleep. I quickly passed Chug who was having trouble with her feet. After about 2 miles I went to the rangers station to get water. When I came back up Chug and Skunk were trying to hitch hike to the next road crossing.
I hiked on as the heat and humidity increased. The trail was again moderate. I saw some blackberries along the way but was afraid to eat them even though I was pretty sure they were blackberries. My friends Anna and Fynn from Brattleboro, VT mentioned they would be driving south to Asheville on this day so I sent out a message to see if they had time to meet me since it was kind of on their way. At about 1 o’clock we had made a plan to meet at the Country View Motel in Elkton. My day just got a whole lot better. With good company, shower, and AC in mind I sped up my pace and would ask Larry to slackpack me 4.5 more miles to HWY 33.
By 2 I had reached our rendezvous point. He said he was starting to worry I had gotten lost. Skunk and Chug had long since passed. Oh well, I had to stop to eat lunch. I asked Larry if he would be willing to slackpack me 4.5 more miles and he hesitated but said, “for a pretty young lady, sure” that didn’t sit too well with me but I thought it would be ok. I could probably run faster than him. Larry anxiously asked me how long it would take me and I confidently said 2 hours. I leaped back on to the trail with and lengthened my stride. I stopped by the shelter to let Somewhere know I’d be staying in town and I’d meet her tomorrow at the next shelter.
I continued on and stopped for water a neat concrete spring box. How did it get here? I climbed up a mountain with a view of the highway and then made my way down. I met Larry right on time.
He shuttled me to the motel without any fuss and I settled in to our “cabin” by 4:30. I showered, washed my clothes, and walked to the nearby had station to check out the fried chicken everyone had been talking about. Sadly, I didn’t realize they closed at 7 and so there was no more chicken at 6:30 when I arrived. I settled for a ham sandwich and frozen pizza.
I took a nap while I waited for Anna and Fynn who finally showed up about 10. We visited until midnight and then crashed. I was so grateful for the company and a comfortable bed.
Miles: 897.6 – 909.2 (11.6)