Even though it was almost 15 miles to get to Glencliff, Christian and Dion were finished with their day around 5 due to Dion’s impeccable planning. Dion has figured out what speed they must maintain and how many breaks they must take to get through the miles planned for each day with such precision. Christian is so lucky to have an Eagle Scout and human pocket knife like Dion to be guiding him along this trip. Dion’s parents are incredibly smart people who made the excellent decision to get Dion into boy scouts from an early age and encouraged him to see it through to becoming an Eagle Scout. This is definitely something we are going to pursue for Christian as well. He is only five but is able to filter water, set up a tent and with some assistance build a fire. He is going to be well prepared for cub scouts and is already displaying such great leadership abilities.
Tonight we are staying at the Hikers Welcome Hostel, along with about 30 other thru hikers. We have yet to see such a large group of hikers together in one place. Everyone has either met or heard of Buddy Backpacker and are all very eager to speak with him and ask him questions. He loves the attention and the praise he receives from other hikers. There was another camp close by that closed yesterday and brought all their extra supplies and food over to the hostel for the thru hikers, knowing no food goes to waste when there are hungry hikers around! Someone cooked a few hot dogs on the grill and this got the smell of food in the air. I decided to take over the grill when those hot dogs were gone and not enough for more than a few people and cooked up the rest of the hot dogs in the refrigerator, which was enough to feed everyone there! Once we had eaten, showered and were settling down for the night Mrs. Janet arrived with another bud load of hikers. Mrs. Janet is an amazing trail angel from Tennessee who drives a large grey 20 passenger van up, down and all over in between the AT. She came in and immediately got to work on a huge pot of spaghetti, meat balls and trays of garlic bread for everyone there. Somehow the misinformation that it was Christians birthday got around to Mrs. Janet who also decided to make a tray of brownies and a cake to celebrate his birthday! Upon hearing this I quickly informed Legion, the man in charge of the hostel, that it was not Chrsitian’s birthday and it was actually April fools day. This didn’t matter one bit. They were so excited that he was there and that they were getting to meet him, that we celebrated a half birthday for him and shared the brownies and cake with everyone.
Another amazing day and night on the trail, another amazing group of people and friends and another fantastic memory to add to Christian’s incredible journey. Tomorrow we are heading north to Mount Moosilauke, the first in the Whites. I can’t believe we are here, we’ve made it to the Whites!