AT miles hiked today: 10.1
Total AT miles hiked: 325.1
This is the view back to Big Bald which I had just hiked down. You can see that people can drive up pretty close and then hike up. It was my favorite place and moment on the entire trail so far.
We all left the shelter late this morning. Jaybird was saying goodbye to his dad and I was just tired so I didn't start hiking until 9am. I thought I might do 10 miles to the shelter or push for the 13.2 miles to a campsite, but I didn't want the 15 that Ewok, Houdini and Jaybird wanted. My ankle is healing, and my right quad is feeling a bit better, but I am dragging and my newest skin infection has everybody freaked out (again). Houdini is a little more used to it because he saw the last one, the one I had at Trail Days, which got better. I think it needed an easier day, especially since I covered it with taller socks and it was itching so I took a benedryl while hiking. I think it's about the same tonight, but I realize im may need to see a doctor about this one. Again, we'll see what it looks like after I get to Erwin.
Earlier today we got to the underpass at Low Gap and said goodbye to Daddy Jay, and found Crazy Beard and Low Profile under there. They slept there, with Etchasketch, last night. We all climbed up and hung out under the overpass for a while. It was kinda cool, and totally strange. After a while we got hiking again, but it was about noon and very hot, with a long uphill climb that took me forever, though I did catch the guys at the end of all their breaks.
It was partially overcast when I got to the top of Big Bald, so I had to get out the heavy camera for real pictures. I hope they turn out! I love the ones I got on my phone. I should have worn the heavy camera out front to keep taking pictures on the way to the shelter, but I thought of it too late. I'm happy to have the pictures on my phone, though. It's good for internet sharing, just not making large prints.
I had a complete "Sound of Music" moment while climbing this and the next bald, complete with singing "The hills are alive...." while wearing my long green skirt. I even twirled around with my arms out (still holding the trekking poles). It was fantastic, even better than Max Patch. I could live nearby just to visit this place all the time.
I am truly lucky to be doing this, no matter how miserable I feel at times. I love being out here on the trail. And I look forward to getting into Erwin, Tennessee in two days, or tomorrow night, if I can make it all 16 miles. At the shelter with me are Eagle Eye, Nice Lady, and Rockin Robin. It's nice to be with women for a change, but I miss the guys. I may try to catch them tomorrow. We all plan to be in Erwin by Weds, so we'll probably see each other there. I am tented in a beautiful grassy spot behind the shelter. The other women can make friends with the resident mouse who was running around our feet earlier. Sleep tight ladies!