The Georgia sun is hot! Today was another shorts and t-shirt day, about 75 degrees. I am at Woods Hole Shelter and came 11.9 miles from Gooch. There are 11 people here and we've been talking into the night...it's 9:00--very late! I was in bed at about 7:30 last night and woke up at 5:30...not much to do when it's dark outside so I laid there until I couldn't take it anymore and got up at about 6:45, milled around in the darkness for awhile, and waited on the sun.
The trail to Woods Hole was again a lot of up and down, and (not to complain, but) my knee really (really) hurts. It started out okay but got progressively worse. There were a few times when putting any weight on it sent sharp pains shooting up my leg but if I stopped for a minute it wouldn't be so bad. For about the last 7 miles I was leading with my right foot and kind of dragging the left behind. Not very graceful looking but it felt better. I'm hoping the rest I've had this afternoon and will have tonight will help it. If not, Blood Mountain tomorrow is going to hurt!
I met a few more new people today, including another young woman who is thru-hiking. She's a bit older than me but it's nice to see someone else in a situation similar to mine. We got some more trail magic (more water!) at Woody Gap. I also took advantage of the wonderful (that's entirely serious) pit toilets in the parking lot. It's amazing what you appreciate when all you have is what's on your back.
The trail has been beautiful--the lack of foliage allows for some awesome views. Nearly every mountain has a view so the scenery never gets boring. The weather has been awesome but I know it won't last much longer. I can dream though, right?
It was about 72 degrees today and sunny. Perfect. I didn't use quite enough sunscreen though. Today I came the 7.3 miles to Gooch Mountain Shelter. It's crowded, but not as much so as last night. Luckily I got here at about 2:30 so I got a decent tent spot. The hike was hard and I'm glad it wasn't any longer. Maybe I'm just worn out from yesterday? I hurt my left knee going downhill; I'm hoping it will feel better tomorrow. Today has been more encouraging than yesterday...I've met a lot of new people and am starting to see the same people multiple times along the trail.
I experienced my first "trail magic" today! For about six miles there were no water sources and a group of people who were doing some trail maintenance left some jugs of water at Cooper Gap. I was rationing my own supply (and thus not drinking enough) so I took advantage of the opportunity.
I don't have much of appetite but I know that will change here soon. Oh, and I stink. And it's only been two days. I should be to Neel's Gap in a few days and should be able to take a shower and resupply there. Looking forward to it!
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