Miles Hiked: 18.3
Miles Left: 1368.7
Ending Location: Seeley Woodworth Shelter, Mile: 816.6
The river had gone down over the night but there was still no dry path across it. While Owl and I were debating what to do another hiker came by, took off his shoes, and then waded right across it. Oh right, it’s water and not lava! After realizing that fact crossing the river wasn’t a problem.
Right before the big climb of the day we came across some amazing trail magic. It was being given out by Uncle Buc who had attempted to hike the AT this year but dropped out after the Smokies. He had driven nearly two hours to give hikers soda, food, and offer them rides into town. It was kind of funny since everyone’s initial reaction was to just grab fruit, but by the end of it they were like, “Yeah I’ll have a second bag of chips and another Mountain Dew!” Apparently he had driven a couple hikers to the grocery store to resupply and one of them had left their Mentos in the truck so I volunteered to try and catch up and return them. I figured even if I didn’t catch them, free Mentos for me.
So with our bellies full Owl and I headed up Cold Mountain. It was a bit of a climb with about three thousand feet of elevation gained. Despite that I was feeling great and made speedy progress up the mountain. The top of it was a bald which I wasn’t expecting and offered some of the best views since Roan mountain. The downside was there was about a million boy scouts and weekend campers about. Due to the crowds there was no temptation whatsoever to stop early at one of the many campgrounds along the way. When I finally arrived at the shelter I felt like I could do another ten miles. Sky’s friend was there and I found out he was the hiker with the Mentos so I handed them back and he shared them with everyone. I can’t remember his name but he was just hiking a section of the trail. You could tell he wasn’t a through hiker since he managed to start a fire, cooked campfire nachos for dinner, and had brought a seat to sit in. No through hiker would be that competent. We really are the worst at everything ;p