Monday, 3/30

AT Miles = 15.8 / 123.5
Other Miles = 0 / 13
Total Miles = 15.8 / 136.4

I enjoyed my zero day in Franklin yesterday, but by the end of the day yesterday I was itching to get back out on the trail.

I was awake early this morning. I think I actually sleep better in my hammock than I do in a bed in a motel room. The Baptist church in Franklin does breakfast for hikers every day for about three weeks during thru-hiker season, and their van picked up a bumch of us at the motel about 7:15. They drove us to the church and served us pancakes, bacon, coffee, cocoa, and orange juice. They had us back at the motel before 8:30 and Ron Haven showed up with his old school bus to drive us back up to the trail in Winding Stair Gap a few minutes after 9:00, so I was on the trail a few minutes past 9:30.

Last night was cold, qand it even snowed a bit up in the mountains. There was still a bit of snow on the ground in the shade. I climbed Siler Bald and Wayah Bald. There is a tower up on Wayah Bald and the views were tremendous. It was so nice to see something other than the inside of a cloud!

Right now I am sitting around The fire ring while a couple of other hikers try to start a fire, and we are all chatting about a multitude of topics. Tomorrow looks like a rather easy 12 miles into the Nantahala Ouitdoor Center, where there should be a package from Jodi with a couple days of food. I'll get a good restaurant meal there. I still haven't decided whether I will stay there tomorrow night or not. I need to make it to Fontana Dam before the post office there closes at 4:30 on Friday afternoon, as all my supplies for the stretch of trail through ther Smokies will be there. If I don't get there in time I will have to wait until the post office opens on Monday.

Oh, I saw a deer today. That makes my wildlife sightings so far a couple of rabbits, a snake, plenty of squirrels, and a plethora of birds I can't identify.

Allen Freeman