12-4-12

Days since my thruhike began: 230
AT miles hiked today: 15.6
Total AT miles hiked: 2103.5
Miles to complete my thruhike: 80.7

I've hiked over 2100 miles!!! This morning I was hiking down the ridge and saw a bear hunter sitting on a log next to the trail. He was wearing all camouflage and no orange, so it was his cute dog tied to a tree next to him that I saw first. She was sweet and he said I could pet her. He had a radio on him and I heard dogs barking over the radio. I could also hear the dogs in the distance and wondered if their hunt would bring them and/or a bear near me.

I got down to the food drop area and filled up my food bag while eating a quick snack. Now I have a heavy pack again. I even got to drop off my trash in the empty food bucket, which is always helpful. Thank you Dillard family!

I met a hiker named Hobo who was in a hurry, trying to find his two friends. They are all sobos, and all of them are slackpacking together using a trailer on one end and a car on the other. He started at one end and they started at the other going opposite directions and the plan was to exchange car keys as they passed each other, but he got lost and hasn't seen them since he found the AT again. We should have seen his friends, but didn't see them either. Where are they? It sounds kind of complicated to me, but at least he has a spare set of keys if he can't find them.

I loved the giant oak we passed in a pasture after we stopped for a snack on a rock in the dark. I wondered if we might have missed the tree in the dark, but no, we just hadn't reached it yet. We got water in the stream crossing the AT just before the Laurel Creek Shelter and we got there at 10pm, which was our longest night hike ever. It was a mild night without much wind for most of the hike, but the wind picked up at the shelter so we hung our tents across the front of the shelter as wind blocks.