Day 19 – Trail Magic!

Today exceeded expectations in several respects. No rain last night so yesterday's mud dried out to the point where it wasn't slippery. The day warmed from yesterday but slowly. The air temperature hovered at 40 when I awoke. As the trail warmed, the wildflowers bloomed in profusion. Walking wasn't too steep for the most part. The major excitement turned out to be the trail magic on Big Bald Mountain. As I was heading up the mountain, two south-bounders told me of trail magic on the other side of the mountain. I shifted into high gear and made the summit then descended to a road and trail magic. Three couples from South Carolina who own vacation property near Big Bald offered hot dogs, drinks, chips granola bars, and fruit. What a feast! The generosity of strangers is one of the most memorable parts of my long-distance adventures. After half hour of eating and visiting I shouldered my pack and thanked my benefactors as the photo shows. Onward. After several ups and downs, I arrived at Spivey Gap and more trail magic - cold drinks, chips, and apples. Then a climb for 500 feet followed by a long descent. Not finding a decent campsite, I continued past the 20-mile mark to the next shelter. I shouldn't have hiked that far but I enjoyed the company at the shelter. Today's miles - 22.4. Total miles - 335.9.

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