April 8, 2017
Sweet Civilization! I am currently typing this from the warmth of the Budget Inn in Franklin, NC. I get to charge all of my devices, fix my broken clip on my power bank, and prepare several days worth of meals.
It got rather cold last night (or so everyone said, my sleeping bag from Paria kept me nice and toasty!) but eventually it was time to get moving. I might have threatened to leave DustBuster behind but she got moving and we made our merry way. The weather was chilly but considerably better than the last couple of days. Although the weather was better and the trail was dryer, I still managed to have myself a little tumble. Nothing hurt, other than my pride.
There was a section of the trail leading up to Albert Mountain that was straight Boulder scrambling. I actually found it rather fun. I think I’m adapting well to the trail and I’m really looking forward to hiking in some nicer weather. At the top of all the climbing was the fire tower at Albert Mountain. The view was amazing and DustBuster and I used the vantage point to book a room and make plans with my mother.
The hike down was pleasant enough and we passed the 100 mile marker (which is 108.8 if you hiked the approach trail). We stopped at Rock Gap Shelter and ran into Jordan whom we have camped with before. We had just 4 more miles to go but nearly half of it was uphill. We still made decent time and arrived at Winding Stair Gap an hour ahead of schedule.
A short wait later and my mom arrived, even shuttling Jordan and Berry (who thought they had thumbed up a ride). We went to the hostel to pick up DustBuster’s package where the caretakers were desperately trying to get people in for their first-ever Hiker’s Hunger Games. Maybe if I were a few years younger and still in my partying phase… We picked up groceries and ate a delicious homemade lunch before saying goodbye to my mom.