Well as of right now things are back on track and we are doing great! Everyone has completely recovered from the horrible virus that plagued us for days. We spent the night before last in Franklin NC to dry out from 11 miles in the relentless rain that day. We set out early, by our standards at least, at 8am and planned to meet at the Carter Gap shelter. I arrived around 4 after a short 4.5 mile hike in from where I left the car at Mooney Gap.
After setting up our stuff I was thankful that I brought our tent to the shelter because the wind was howling in through the side and making the temperature feel a lot lower than it actually was. So, after a few jumping jacks to get my blood pumping, I set up our tent inside the shelter knowing that we haven’t seen anyone in a while so there probably wouldn’t be anyone else coming in that night. Should anyone have come along it would have been easy enough to just pick the whole tent up with all it’s contents and just steak it along side the shelter. Dion and Buddy came hopping along about an hour after I got there ending another great day on the trail. They didn’t see any other hikers today, but did get some great views because the weather was clear and bright. Buddy and I tried our best to start a fire, but it was too windy to get it started so we retreated into the tent and into our warm sleeping bags. Buddy was really excited to be sleeping in the tent in the shelter, he loved the idea of sleeping outside and inside at the same time. He’s so clever and cheerful all the time and is always thinking of things like that. After a delicious trail dinner we snuggled up tight and all slept as sound as logs. We woke up thankful that we had made it through the night without anyone freezing as we had anticipated the temperature to drop into the low 20’s.
We packed up and got Buddy and Dion on the trail as early as possible today because it’s going to be a long one for them. They have planned to go to the Plumorchard Gap Shelter which is 19.8 miles, but I have just figured out that I can meet them about a mile and a half before that at Blue Ridge Gap. I just went to Piggly Wiggly and got some steak and donuts to surprise them with along with the good news that they can end a mile sooner than they were expecting. It should be a great day for Buddy Backpacker and crew, today they cross the NC/GA line and that is REALLY exciting!!
We are aiming to be at Springer on Saturday December 21st for those who live close by and want to come out. It isn’t the end of our hike technically, we still have 30 miles of the Smokys we will do the 22-24th, then the last 160 miles of the Shenandoah’s. But as of today, we have now hiked in all the states of the AT and once we get to Springer that will be just over 2000 miles that Buddy has hiked! So if you are free on Saturday and in the area, come out and show your support for our amazing Buddy Backpacker.