Waking up from no excitement in the night was very refreshing. Getting a full nights sleep was definitely needed and wanted. We, Kevin and I, hiked out alone, leaving Derricks Nob. Hiking uphill was in store again for us, we had planned on doing 15 miles. The mountains were finally clear and warm again, the fog and clouds had lifted allowing us to bask in the great smokeys views. Having the sun on our face was unimaginable, the feeling of the warm sun against our skin warmed our hearts and souls.
Over the day we were blessed with one beautiful view of the smokeys. As with every day that we hike alone, we end up rubber banding with other hikers along the trail. On this day we rubber banded with Pebbles and Bam-Bam along the rolling up hills through the balds. Walking through some of balds we came to, we took in the great views with the fresh grass. The smells of the small spruce tree forests flowed in our lungs, reinvigorating our passion for hiking and the wilderness. The small spruce tree forest we came upon was a beautiful surprise compared to beech trees we had been seeing.
Coming down a steep incline we came to our lunch shelter. The first thing I did was takeoff some of my clothes and lay out, soaking up the sun and beautiful weather. We ate our first hot lunch on the whole trail, Ramen and pop tarts filled our bellies. I took the opportunity to stretch and rub out my IT band, I finding that if I work it out and roll it with the trekking pole, that it will relieve most of the tension and pain. So far it’s been tolerable but the left side trail has been beating me down little at a time.
The long uphill didn’t give too much of a problem for my leg, the aches and pains were minor going up over the steps in the trail. Kevin managed to grab a photo of me as I climbed to the top of another bald. We arrived at Doubles spring shelter early, by about 4, taking a short break we headed back to the trail. We had said our goodbyes to Bam-Bam who was leaving the next day. Kevin and I walked just a small bit up the trail and we started to fight as usual. We have been cranking out miles nonstop for the most part. We sat and argued, there were many places on the trail I had wanted to stay and enjoy the veiws,but we had arrived at those locations really early in the day. We argued about taking an easy day for once.
Tired and hungry we both gave into each other. Kevin made phone calls while I layed out in the sun. Slowly and steadily other hikers flowed in setting up camp for the night. We were once again greeted by the Powerpuff girls on thier section hike, and a new family that stayed with us. There were five of them, mom, dad, two daughters, and thier son Danny. Danny was a riot, so full of wonder and laughter. It was hard not to think he was so cool for a five year old. He told stories and ran around chasing the small animals.
During our dinner we were treated by some trail magic of candy bars and some natural trail magic too. The woods had blessed us with a large male deer that fed on them soft green leaves around our camp. He stayed for hours nibbling here and there, allowing me to get within a few feet of him before scampering to the next green patch. After dinner I did my nightly ritual and found that our Privy not only had a roof, but a door and rails to hold on to. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but when the alternative is no roof, or a minefield from overuse, you tend to appreciate the little things. It was like being in a different world compared to some of the other privys we’d been in. Sleep came quickly after our stressful day.