Zero day on the 16th, but hiked 3-4 miles off the AT
AT miles hiked on the 17th: 13.5
Non AT miles hiked on the 17th: 2
AT total miles hiked: 513.6
Eagle Eye and I slept in a bit on the 16th because we knew the festival went on all day. But on our way there we got lost on the horse trail again. It got us lost TWICE! This time we went halfway down the mountain, which was my fault, and had to hike all the way back up. It was 3pm by the time we found the state campground and got our showers. We did get a ride there fairly quickly with a very nice couple who drive us right into the parking area. Then they let us in for free because it was so late in the day.
We got our chicken dinners and I got lemonade and a black cherry waffle cone and we sat on the grass and listened to live bluegrass music while eating kettle corn. Eagle Eye brought that with her and ate it for a couple of days on the trail. It was great as a trail snack and was lightweight, though bulky.
We met a nice family at a food booth and chatted with them. Later, when the show was over, we saw them again in the parking lot and they gave us a ride back to the campground. It was getting late and we hoped to camp there, but were told it was full. A man and his wife overheard the conversation and noticed an empty site on the way to their own campsite. She sent him back to tell us and we got that site. Then another very nice couple came walking by, found out we were thruhiking, and brought us bananas, a half a cantaloupe, pita chips and chocolate/toffee nuts. Yum!
It's amazing how helpful and generous everybody was, and I'm sad I accidentally deleted my original post from this day so I lost all their names. I really do have faith in the goodness of people again. So many people have been so helpful to me in so many ways. It's humbling, and I'm very grateful.
17th: We are camped about two miles north of the Hurricane shelter in our tents. We hiked until almost dark and got our tents up and bear bags hung just after dark. We went through The Scales today. It's a big corral where livestock or horses were weighed on the past. Today I was happy to see an indoor privy there, with toilet paper in it. Luxury!