Cold today – I am wearing pants. But it is really nice to have the sun out!
It was hard to leave Kincora – very comfortable and welcoming place – but we did. There was a really cool bridge over the river – nice start to the day. We dropped down into Laurel falls – an amazing amount of water pours over those falls. Saw lots of dayhikers so it must be Saturday.
Saw the CleverGirl parade slackpacking (CleverGirl, DumpTruck, Apollo, HotDog, Whistle, and one guy I didn’t recognize). They are slacking all the way into Damascus, lucky dogs!
They stopped at a small overlook so I did too – CleverGirl said “it’s mile 420, on 4/20!”. Sure enough there was a rock there denoting the mileage. Pretty neat (even though I don’t smoke).
The ups today seemed to last forever! But I kept walking…and eventually I got to Watauga Lake. There were two donkeys in a pasture by the road – they ran up to the fence as soon as they saw me but were VERY disappointed that I didn’t have anything for them to eat. (One even bared his teeth at me).
Saw a sign about a trail detour – and another about trail magic – so went to check them out. “Knock on wood” (so named because she was incredibly unlucky….she would say “hey it’s awesome that it hasn’t rained in a while” and a thunderstorm would start) and some friends were there with sodas, fruit, and coffee singles/candy bits. Stopped to talk with them for a while and then went on to the shelter.
The detour was an official detour (not like the Forest Service detour) due to flooding on the trail. So instead of walking the trail along the lakeshore, we walked on the road for about a quarter of a mile before going into the woods. The walk was really peaceful – I love being around water – and I got to the shelter pretty early.
Shutterbug & OWL had already set up in the shelter, so I set up too. Cooked dinner and was even able to FaceTime with AWE. There was a phone in the shelter (although it was not hooked up to anything) – pretty funny.
Half&Half came in pretty late, and M80/Trooper/Willow came in after that. M80’s group did over 24 miles today…crazy!