This is my first mobile post. Sorry for any extra errors.
I have been moving far faster than my pace planned (I am going to be 1 day ahead, with and extra nero). I am enjoying the pace not pushing myself more than my body allows.
Dicks creek to Standing Indian Shelter (16.7 miles)
I started the morning off with a Champ, one of my best friends from UW, who had driven from Clemson to hike a few hours with me. I had a great time catching up with him and he set a good pace for the first few hours. I am really happy we were able to meet up and that he drove all the way to see me.
Shortly after he headed back to his car, ETA caught up with me and we crossed into NC. One state down!
Shortly after we passed a pretty cool tree (which the picture doesn’t due justice). We passed what it my favorite named side trail so far.
Standing Indian Shelter to Rock Gap (19.8 miles)
This was my longest, hardest and most enjoyable day.
ETA and I started out early as usual (about 8am) and headed up the Indian mountain. It wasn’t too bad of a climb, and the views were similar to the the difficulty (i.e. Not very good). The rest of the morning was pretty good, although I was starting to feel sort of tired by lunch
I found a great unmarked stop off the side of the trail for us to eat lunch. It was one of the best views that I had yet on the trail (and the picture sort of captures it).
After lunch we headed up Albert Mountian there was some reasonably sketchy terrain (including one section where a tree was holding all the trails dirt on a rock, with a 20 ft drop below). It was a good climb with a very steep peak (~400 ft in .3 miles) and a nice preview of the New England states. We were rewarded with great views at the top, including a fire tower that made the view even better. Sadly the door at the top was locked. It was by far the best view on the trail and rejuvenated all energy.
At the top me met up with Bevo and Chaos who were headed into Franklin to stay at a hostel for the night. Since ETA was taking a few days off to see his girlfriend and I needed a resupply I decided to join them. We arrived at the hostel (which was more of a guys house with bunk beds in the extra bedrooms than an actual business) and decided to go to the local microbrewery to have dinner and a beer. While we were there we met up with a trail angle (person who brings trail magic). He hiked to trail in 2014 so it was great to hear his advice and listen to his stories.
Bevo and Chaos are moving at my pace so I hope to be able to keep hiking with them.
The beer was pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but it was certainly the place to be on a Saturday night in Franklin.