Hello again! I'm in Franklin, NC now about three days walk from Hiawassee. I am largely seperated now from anyone who was seemingly a hiking partner but its been really good to be soloing some, and I've also ended up walking with a number of new people who seem very cool. After my last post, I went and walked about 4.5 miles to Plum Orchard Shelter where I crashed for the night, even though it was only about 3:45 in the afternoon. I had just wanted to get back out in the woods rather than stay another night at the shelter. There was only one guy there when I arrived and he was quite a character. He was only carrying about 8 pounds. He had no tent, no sleeping bag, and no food! He was on a fast, the only thing he had eaten in the last 7 days was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a coke. He isn't thru-hiking but he is trying to get to Erwin, TN. He also said the F word more than anyone I have ever met. Very odd. Meeting him brings to mind the fact that I have met a number of very interesting people out here. First, there was the no it all on Springer who was wearing an actual Tartan kilt, then there was Patriot who wore a Tri-corner hat and carried a tomahawk (and a hand gun I have since learned). This is of course not including my own partner who suggested macing himself as a defense against bear attack. After the short day I did about 13 to the top of Standing Indian Mountain where we had a beautiful late afternoon view and sunset, and where we woke up in the middle of a cloud. The following morning I impressed myself and knocked out a 19 miler with Airic, all the way to Rock Gap shelter where I had what I believe to be the first totally complete night's sleep I have had thus far. I'm in Franklin now but I think I'll head back out later this afternoon. I'm feeling pretty spry. By the way the images at top are me and Skyhiker (now Chico) at the Springer terminus and one of my sunrise shots from Blood Mountain. Until next update.
-The Breadless Horseman