Day 49 on the Appalachian Trail

I put in my ear plugs early and crawled in my sleeping bag at 7pm. Even the conversations of the other people didn't keep me awake. At 6:15am, I started hiking with the goal of stopping at the Loft Mountain camp store and wayside for edibles. The morning's hike of 8.2 miles to the store was easy with minimal ups and downs. The alleged resupply at the store disappointed me with its lack of hiker fare, such as Knorr rice sides. I ate two delightful fried egg, English muffin, and cheese sandwiches. The afternoon's hike was the opposite of the morning with big and steep ups and downs. At mile 13.2, I stopped at the Pinefield shelter where I met two guys with three energetic boys. They gave me a big dollop of chicken salad on a tortilla. Yum! Back on the trail, I labored up Weaver Mountain then down to Simmons Gap. I walked 0.2 miles off trail to a ranger station to get water. Back on the trail, I quickly passed a stream where I could have collected water on the trail. Up and down to Powell Gap the up a steep trail to Hightop shelter. The steep spots took all the energy out of my legs. Finally, I reached the turnoff to the shelter. First dinner, then getting water, then a wipe down. Other hikers dribbled in over the next two hours. The photo shows three of my fellow hikers working on dinner. I crawled in my sleeping bag early again this evening. Today's miles - 21.4. Total miles - 903.4.

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