Thursday, 3/19

AT Miles = 12.3 / 15.1
Other Miles = 0.7 / 9.5
Total Miles = 13.0 / 24.6

While hiking today I kept thinking of things I wanted to talk about today, but now, at the end of a tiring day, I can't think of any of them.

It was another beautiful day. I actuakky wish it weren't so sunny, as there are no leaves on the trees yet and I am getting a bit burnt.

The day started off by hiking along old roadbeds that folowed Stover Creek, and it was tyhe perfect way to ease into the day. The first seven miles were easy, gentle walking. Then, after sucking me in to a complacent mood, the trail threw Sassafras and Justus Mountains at me. They were both steep and gave me a good workout. I definitely earned my dinner tonight!

When I got to Cooper Gap, between Sassafras and Justus Mountains, a previous thru-hiker with the trailname of The Prophet, along with his dog Noah, was parked at the road crossing with his pickup truck and giving out Dr Pepper and Budweiser. I didn't think a beer would be a good idea with a steep climb facing me, so I settled for a Dr Pepper (wouldn't you like to be a pepper too…).

The shelter and campsite tonight is jam packed; there are 11 hikers in the shelter and 7 or 8 tents pitched around the shelter.

Just as I was cooking my dinner tonight a brief shower rolled through, but the sun is out again now and it is a beautiful evening. I hear there is a 30% chance of rain tonight, so I'll be sure to get everything rigged for rain before going to bed.

I am now 15.1 miles from Neels Gap, whichis my next resupply. There is a hostel there as well. I thinjk I will stop a few miles short of Neels tomorrow night, then get in to Neels early on Saturday. I can then do my shopping, check out the hostel and decide if I want to stay over or keep heading up the trail. That way if I do stay over I'll hyave most of the day to relax.

Allen Freeman