North of Upper Laurel Fork

AT miles hiked today: 13.4
Total AT miles hiked: 405.4

I have hiked over 400 miles! I started off today with a soft bed and then a hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, fresh biscuits and toast with apple butter, plus leftover banana pudding that Eagle Eye made last night, and blackberries. It was so good, and after the dinner last night it felt indulgent to have two home made meals in a row.

Today the trail was pretty easy and soft. There was mud as well, but not too bad. I met Link at the hostel last night, and Speed Bump today while hiking. I never saw Crazy Beard, Houdini, or the other guys at all today, but all of us women met up at the Mountaineer Shelter for lunch. We decided to camp at the waterfall today and head into the Kincora hostel tomorrow. I am considering a zero day there, because I haven't had one since Trail Days and it would be cheap to have it there. My ankle could use a rest, but I would lose the women. Maybe I can cheaply slackpack from there. I think I would like to try to be with them into Damascus, at least.

Am I ahead of Houdini? It's unlikely to me, and maybe he passed when Eagle Eye, Rockin Robin and I hid out from the rain down a side trail at the Vango/Abby Memorial hostel. The owner, Scotty, said he was sick with a spider bite, and went back to bed so we couldn't get the pizza, sodas or ice cream we would have eaten there. I hope he is okay. He looked pretty sick from that spider bite. We left the hostel after 6pm, after the rain stopped, to hike the last mile to the waterfall and meet Nice Lady and Tony but they weren't there. We missed the waterfall the first time because it was so small, or we just missed it, and we backtracked almost .2 miles to get to a campsite without a water source nearby.

Eagle Eye started a campfire and I helped, maybe. Rockin Robin got water and we three shared salad leftovers on tortillas with boiled egg and tuna and crackers and then honeybuns and peppermint tea. It was all yummy.

As usual at campsites the food bags are not in a perfect spot, but if we lose our food to a bear like Phoenix did, at least we are going to resupply tomorrow anyway, and hopefully find the other women, too, at Kincora.

Today was a lovely hiking day and felt pretty easy on my feet and knees. I bet Nice Lady and Tony went more miles, maybe even to the next shelter. We have been struggling with the need to get more miles in versus rest time and days.

Everybody needs and wants different things for different reasons. I wonder how long the group can hold together and how long I'll stay.