Day 26: Near Beech Gap (Mile 91)-Big Butt (Mile 98.5); 7.5 miles
We started the day off with a full set of stretches. This is a new addition for us and we hope it will ward off any future injuries. We also walked more slowly and took more frequent breaks than usual to gradually transition Shutterbug’s knee back into thru hiking shape.
The morning was chilly, but not nearly as frigid as our first morning on the trail in March. As we walked, we saw lovely details in the forest.
Day 16-24: Zero Days in Concord, NC
North Star’s aunt Cindy was an awesome trail angel for us as we waited for Shutterbug’s knee to heal. Her daughter Caryn helped out too.
Cindy housed us, fed us well, loaned us clothing, and let us borrow a laptop. Shutterbug’s favorite spot this past week was the couch, with a laptop on his belly and his knee elevated on pillows.
Day 12: South of Powell Mountain on Blue-blaze Trail (Mile 67)-Dicks Creek Gap (Mile 69.5); 2.5 miles
It rained cats and dogs overnight. The rain was so violent that raindrops splashed mud a few inches up the tent walls. We stayed cuddled in our sleeping bags longer than usual and eventually the rain began to slow. While packing up we managed to stay mostly dry.
The trail didn’t fare so well. The downpour overnight had turned the trail into a sloppy and slippery muddy mess.