I woke up this morning to my body telling me that I was a lot more tired than I thought and that it was time for a zero day (a day in which zero trail miles are walked). My plan originally was to hike 5 miles to the next shelter (which would be a nero day, a near zero mileage day), and stay the night there. But it seemed silly to limp into the forest and not really get the rest I need for such a small milage gain. Instead I decided to skip over Franklin, North Carolina which is 30ish miles away and is the next town that people usually stop in, and instead hike two more days to the NOC (an outdoors center right on the trail). This means my next stretch will be six days long instead of three or four, which I’m happy about. It will save me the money and time of stopping into Franklin and the milages from here to there are really managable, about 12 miles each day. If I decided to pull a 15 mile day 2 days from now, I could be there in 5 days which would be great. I’ll see how I feel and only hike 8 miles that day if I feel like I need the rest. Oh and I’ll cross my first state border tomorrow! By the end of the day I’ll be in North Carolina and will have completed the Georgia section of the AT.
My knee has been hurting today while I was walking around town, so that makes me doubly happy that I took today off. I think I pushed too hard yesterday and my knee too the brunt of the burden. I’ve spent the day eating, relaxing, and running errands. Also bought a few new stuff sacks that should make me more space and time efficient, which is always nice.
Another plus of the zero day is that I’ll have time to finally post some pictures! So here they are…
Obligatory start of trail picture at the top of springer mountain, very pumped.
View from my second night’s campsite.
Amester, Groc (the dirtbag hiker I mentioned), and Frenchie from left to right around our campfire the second night. It was coooooold.
Made it to Neel’s Gap, the dropout point for 20% of all attempting thruhikers. Very exciting.
Hostel at Neel’s Gap with Groc and A.C. It smelled like a locker room crossed with extra sweaty socks. Still, no complaints. It was great to be there.
Bronson, the cat at the hostel.
Dinner that night.
Been slacking on pictures since Neels. Best view yet, from one of the mountains I hiked the past 2 days.
I’m off to a mexican feast with some friends from the trail before an early bed. Hope to be on the trail by 9, I’m excited to be on the trail again. This break has been just long enough to remind me that regardless of injury or fatigue I’d rather be on the trail than anywhere else right now.