Miles Hiked: 6.3
Miles Left: 2041.3
Ending Location: Sassafras Gap Shelter
Waking up in a bed is so nice! After a shower B and I packed up our stuff and headed down to breakfast at the restaurant. Great coffee, great food, and their music selection was quite appropriate. Lots of Jack Johnson and other mellow songs. It was also interesting seeing all the hiking packs laying around as there were a lot if hikers arriving and leaving. Long story short, it was a good morning.
That helped since the entire rest if the day was climbing up out if the valley. The weather had improved a bit but it still wasn’t what you would call sunny. That actually was nice since we didn’t get too hot. Up near the top all the plants were covered in hoar frost which was very pretty though we did have to throw rain covers on our packs since it was melting on us. We also briefly met several new to us through hikers as they blazed past us.
When B and I arrived at Sassafras Shelter it was absolutely packed. Unlike most of the North Carolina shelters so far this one actually had two levels and it was still filled to the brim with people. That was shocking considering how empty out last shelter was. Part if that was due to five college kids who just started hiking for spring break. I was joking with Wiki that even with them us Americans were outnumbered by the two Australians and six German hikers there. It turns out we had a couple extra Americans tucked in the back if the shelter already sleeping so that was an exaggeration, but things are starting to get more of an international feel with words like kilometers and Celsius being thrown around. A special shout out goes to Young Beard who portered an entire six pack of beer up to the top and gave some of it away because he didn’t want to carry any to the next shelter.
B and I ended up tenting which was a good decision since apparently the college students stayed up all night talking. You really do get a different mindset if you are through hiking vs camping for a week. I can’t really comment though since I spent about two hours after dark updating my journal and texting with Liz. If I have one bar of signal or more I can at least somewhat stay in touch with the outside world. I will say that major events like what’s happening in Ukraine take on a weird unreal feeling. On the plus side, I didn’t feel bad about missing the Oscars.