12-2-12

Days since my thruhike began: 228
AT miles hiked today: 5.9
Total AT miles hiked: 2074.3
Miles to complete my thruhike: 109.9

From Catawba road to Four Pines Hostel. We started at 11:30am after a visit to Walmart and other morning errands were complete, and I dragged up and down the ridge hills. I am so tired! There were more slippery, deep dry leaves on steeply angled hillsides, making me afraid I might slide off the side of the mountain. I didn't go very fast with my pack full again, even though I only had two days of food in it. The Dillards offered to drop off five gallon buckets for us at a road crossing, and we filled them with our other four days of food. That was a huge help, to not have to carry that extra food weight.

There were rickety fence stiles to climb over barbed wire and electric fences and then the trail turned into a nice pasture walk. We debated whether to keep on and hike the Dragon's Tooth near dark plus night hike till 8pm. Or, there is this Four Pines Hostel just down the road. Hmmm...

We had great deer burgers that Joe gave us the meat and Eagle Eye cooked up. Joe also gave us some mac and cheese casserole. We lucked out with the timing. Joe had just cleaned out the hanging deer carcasses from their successful hunts and there was still blood dots on the floor. Our other hiker friends stayed here with the deer hanging there! One drawback to that is the garage needed to be cold, so they couldn't build a fire in the wood stove. The other drawback is deer carcasses hanging near my bed. Mandela made a nice drawing in the register of their new, headless "friends." If I had been there alone and with bodies I might have been freaked out. As it was, we got great food. Thanks, Joe!