Started in Damascus
Ended at the Saunders Shelter
Breakfast at the Dancing Bear was awesome again (waffles, fruit, yogurt, orange juice, scrambled eggs, sausage). Melissa agreed to mail a box back to Mary-j and also send all the letters Sydney wrote, about 10.
My water filter replacement cartridge didn't show up yesterday so I went to Sundog Outfitters to buy a new one. They had 3 different models and for such a small store I was really surprised. Back on the AT we followed the creeper trail, but only a short way before turning straight up. Some hikers are taking the Creeper Trail even further because it is nearly flat and the AT is hilly. You can follow the Creeper Trail 17 miles to a spot the AT crosses and avoid a bunch of uphill.
We decided on the AT and were glad to be back in the woods after so many days in town. Pete is in the picture wearing his AT headband. After a few switchbacks Harvey spotted a turtle on the trail. Later he would find a black snake about 5 feet long and a deer.
At Saunders Shelter we stopped to dry off and have lunch. As we were eating it really started to rain. After finishing lunch I decided to wait an hour and see what the weather did. It kept raining. Shivers and Unknown showed up to have lunch too. They were heading to the next shelter but the kids wanted to stay. I can't blame them, the shelters are much nicer than the Tennessee shelters, and it is raining.
Sydney made a picture from sticks and twigs and we just sat around and ate gnocchi and other World Market dishes Mary-j sent. It feels like a very short day but we still got almost 10 miles in.