If you look close you can see the food bags hanging in the trees. Because of bears we are required to hang all our food or put it in a bear canister. I haven’t seen any bears yet but we are told there are many. While I hike through Smokey Mountain National Park we are required to hang our whole back pack from a tree. Bears there will try to steal your whole pack.
Today was my longest day yet at 19.6 miles. Very challenging and rugged. It got into the 70s today and to make it that far with a 45 pound pack one has to hike pretty aggressively. I know that doesn’t sound like much to my running friends. Trust me these are real mountains and serious terrain.
I recieved my first trail magic today. Just as I was getting dehydrated and out of water I came across a lady filtering from a stream. Keith had the filtration system in his pack and wasn’t with me. She was in her mid sixties and her trail name was Purple Pony. She filled me up. Thanks Purple Pony! You saved me today.
I don’t have a trail name yet. Most hikers that consider themselves purists, say you shouldn’t pick your own trail name. It has to be given to you.
I didn’t take many pictures today because the haze covered most of the vistas. Keith and Netta are heading home tomorrow, so no more support team. I’m totally on my own. Keith said from the very beginning he wasn’t sure about doing a thru hike. This was pretty impromptu for him. My guess is he’ll be back sometime soon now that he’s seen what it’s like. Keith and Netta are wonderful people and now good friends. Netta drove some pretty scetchy roads to find trailheads to meet us. Thank you for all your support Netta.