We had the most fantastic Thanksgiving and hope y’all did too! Buddy and Dion did 6 miles on Wednesday and ended the day by walking to the diner at the end of town. What a great place! Really friendly people and great food! After the boys stripped away their layers and sat down they told me about a family they met on the trail, Farmer Chef and Mama Bear with their three kids 8.11 and 13. Not a moment after they finished talking about them they walked though the door! We all said hello and they went to sit down. After we were all finished eating we went over to their table to go talk to them for a bit. What a great family they are! They are section hiking the AT with their 3 kids whenever they get anytime off from work and school. They told us they were going to be at Miss Janet’s Thanksgiving so we said goodbye until tomorrow and headed to Laughing Heart Hostel for showers and bedtime.
In the morning we woke up really early and headed back to Allen Gap so the boys could knock out those 9 miles south to Tanyard Gap that we left off at yesterday. It was a beautiful day despite the few inches of snow that were still on the ground and Buddy couldn’t wait to go stomping around in it! They had a great day and finished up about 12:30. We headed back to Laughing Heart to shower and call all our amazing family members before heading down to the Community Center for dinner. We couldn’t believe how many south bounders were gathered in one room! The family we had met the night before was there so Buddy spent pretty much the whole day/night playing with their 8 year old, trail named Moe. We got to finally really meet Miss Janet and Crunchmasters parents who helped put the dinner together. It was FANTASTIC! We all had the best time and are so incredibly thankful to Miss Janet and everyone else who helped make that dinner such a success. We ate until we could barely move because all the food was just perfect. Each thing was better than the last, we really were spoiled by everyone who cooked! When dinner was over Buddy didn’t want to leave, as he never does. He was sad to say goodbye to his new friends, but we assured him that when we get back up near Harpers Ferry where they live that we would see them again. It’s always hard to end something as wonderful as this day but the trail is calling and we must go!
We have to make up 22 miles north of here before we can come back to hot Springs and keep heading north. We left off at Came Creek Bald Lookout tower, so we decided to drive up and stay up there so they could hit the trail first thing in the morning. Surprisingly it wasn’t too cold up there all night, but come 7am when we woke up it was pretty chilly! The car didn’t want to start this morning and took a little convincing to get it going. Thankfully after giving it a little gas and letting it warm up, it’s purring like a kitten again. It would just throw a real wrench in our plans if anything happened to that Jeep. It has turned out to be just incredible weather today, so instead of getting trampled at the local mall or beating other people for the last 28″ $50 TV, we have decided to stay in the real world and hike on! The boys are going 14 miles today from the Lookout Tower to Devils Fork Gap, then we will drive over to Sams Gap and stay there tonight. Then tomorrow we will hike south back to Devils Fork Gap (8 miles mostly all downhill!) then drive back to Hot Springs and do another 6 from Garenflo north back into Hot Springs and stay at Laughing Heart again. That will put us in a great spot to hit the Smokeys HARD, taking advantage of the great weather heading our way from now till next Thursday. Buddy is doing great and we are so proud of him! We can’t wait to finish the Smokeys and get them behind us!