Day 31 on the Appalachian Trail

On the trail at 7am. Cruiser stayed in our room to wait for a package he hoped would arrive today. Overcast skies kept air temps cool all day, but without any rain. The Appalachian Trail passed through more pasture today than any other day thus far. I enjoyed the variety of scenery. Walking was easy for the first few miles while gaining elevation slowly. I ran into Pops and walked with him for an hour. The attached photo shows Pops admiring a patch of flowering rhododendrons with massive pink flowers. At 11.5 miles on the day, I ate lunch at a scenic spot by a bridge over Holston River. After lunch, I encountered more modest ups and downs for 7 miles. At 19 miles on the day, I came to a gravel road where two PCT hikers were serving trail magic. Completely unexpected. I cooked dinner, ate some watermelon, and headed up a long, 1600-foot climb. I wanted to see if I could reach the Chestnut Knob shelter at the top of the climb. About 7:30pm, I arrived at the shelter to find it full. I set up my tent as fog began to form. A long day, but one that I managed to handle ok. Today's miles - 24.1. Total miles - 567.9.

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