AT miles hiked today: 8.8
Total AT miles hiked: 350.3
We slackpacked today! I just emptied my own pack and carried it with a lunch, water and my rain jacket. We got a shuttle ride to Indian Grave Gap at 11:30 and it felt like I was floating up the mountain. Then it felt like I was flying down the mountain. It was amazing how light I felt. We hiked together, talking and laughing and hanging out until we had a break at the shelter halfway back to Erwin. We met Achilles, Two Dogs and Skywalker at the shelter and ate chicken salad sandwiches. Then I just kind of took off down the mountain. It felt so good and was so fun, I just went. Eagle Eye kept up, but we left the others behind.
Almost at the end of the hike I met these kids and their dad. I was rock hopping across the river and they showed me the salamander they caught. As I was looking, I slipped off the rocks and both feet ended up in the river. Sigh. Wet feet and shoes again. At least I didn't land on my butt in the river and there is a dryer and fan to dry my shoes and socks back at the hostel.
Later we will have a birthday eve party for Eagle Eye. Hot dogs and S'mores around the fire will be fun. She and a bunch of others went down the river in tubes even though it was running fast and high and muddy. I might have gone but I had to resupply in town. I had chores to do so I couldn't play, but slacking made hiking almost nine miles feel like a day off. I loved it.