Starting Location: Roan Mountain, TN
Destination: Dennis Cove Road
Total Miles: 418
This day began about as well as the last one did, as Rumbler, Footloose, and I set off from the road in a driving rainstorm towards the nearest shelter almost 18 miles north. The stretch of trail was easy, and mostly rolling, with the exception of the spectacular Jones Falls which had an abnormally high volume of water due to the recent rains. I can't remember the last time I've seen a waterfall that powerful out in the mountains.
Hiked most of the day with Scuba through the morning rain and the afternoon parting of the clouds, deciding to push past the shelter to Kincora Hostel about 6 miles farther. Felt good to reach the hostel where familiar faces were waiting, and to do long miles on easy terrain.
In the end, Kincora was already full, so Lead Dog and I got a ride a few miles down into Hampton, TN to Braemar Castle Hostel. Made this long day complete when I walked in to see GG, Woody, and Mickey-One-Sock already staying there. A really nice reunion with them and the ever-present Seiko, the very first thru-hiker I met on the AT—kind of like seeing family again. A great ending to the day was only made better by great late night (late night on thru-hiker time that is) conversation with Mickey-One-Sock, a wonderful southerner who certainly shares my convictions.