When the trail is good, it is so good. We are settling back into the routine of life on the AT and loving it more and more every day. The weather hasn’t been great, but it also hasn’t rained while we’ve been hiking despite the constant threat of 70% chance of rain every day. Thank goodness people don’t make plans according to weather forecasts!
We are trying to pick up the pace a little bit, but not push ourselves. We have been having such a great time everyday on the trail, Buddy says everyday is the best day ever! It’s nice to start early and get through a 10 mile day by 2pm, then we have time to go down into town all together. We went back into Buena Vista and showered again at Glen Maury Campground, visited their library and went grocery shopping all together. It so much fun to go grocery shopping with Buddy. He brings his Pooh Bear along, puts him in the front of the cart and picks out all the snacks he would like for his hikes. I stopped by the Blue Dog Cafe one morning and got to speak with the owners for a while, they just opened this year and really have a great business going. Their place is fantastic and I would highly recommend stopping off here. The prices are almost as fantastic as their bottomless coffee. I can see that Blue Dog Cafe will quickly become a staple of the trail, the people who own and run it are doing a great job and really know how to cater to thru hiker needs. With a nights stay here you get a free shuttle to and from the trail along with a breakfast sandwich to take back to the trail with you in the morning.
We drove up to the top of Apple Orchard Mountain last night and stayed at Thunder Hill Shelter so we can do this 15 mile section north. While hiking we met up with Stinky Jesus who is trying to catch up with some friends, so we drove him with us up to Thunder Hill. What an interesting character he is! He remembers meeting us somewhere in New Hampshire and was really excited to get to stay with us and ask us a million questions. We just met him in passing up in NH, trying to pound out the miles up there didn’t always allow time for lengthy conversations. The rain we had been hearing about for so long finally came our way, and lasted all night and into the better part of the morning. No one slept very well under the tin roof of the shelter, the rain was so loud I thought at first in my half woken mind that it must be acorns. Despite the rain still lingering around, at 10 the boys finally headed out to climb down Orchard Mountain.
Having the Jeep with us proves to be more and more of a blessing the further into our trip we go. We are so thankful we didn’t get rid of it months ago when we were thinking about it. (Special thanks to Demos and Darlene!) Being able to decide which direction we want to hike it so great. Avoiding huge climbs to get in more miles is invaluable when winter is right around the corner!
We received the amazing news that Cub does not need surgery on her arm!! They went back to Florida and the orthopedic specialist was able to fix it right in the office. Cub is such a trooper!! We are so excited they are coming back, we are high tailing it through these miles to catch up to our favorite Floridians!