Sassafrass Gap Shelter

View from the Wesser Bald firetower.

AT miles hiked today: 6.7
Total AT miles hiked: 144

I ate the yogurt and orange juice I bought in Bryson City for breakfast, along with the protein bar and cinnamon almonds I found in the hiker box. I also finished off the rest of my Pepsi from yesterday and hit the trail at 9:20. Everybody kept saying there was an 80% chance of rain today, but it never rained.

Candy Cane was sitting on the side of the trail, about a mile up, eating pine needles. He got drenched yesterday and tried to set up his tent in the rain. By the time it was up it had an inch of water in it. At least his synthetic sleeping bag kept him warm even though it was soaked. He plans to get a dry bag for his sleeping bag next. He offered me a pine needle to chew on and I went on my way.

Everybody passed me on these long uphills and everything was wet so I was careful on the downhills, too, and didn't make good time. It took me over five hours to get to the shelter. No Doubt and I hiked the final mile or two together. He has a nasty blister on his pinky toe.

I can try for a nine mile day tomorrow, or aim for the shelter after that and have my biggest day yet. Or stop in the middle. It doesn't help to get into Fontana Village after 5pm, because I have a package to pick up at the post office. I guess I'll see how it goes tomorrow. I don't mind getting in on Friday morning. I have plenty of food, too much again, but I hear the prices are high there, and not a lot of selections, though maybe ice cream and nachos.

And then, the Smokies!