Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thomas Knob Shelter

Started at Saunders Shelter
Ended at Thomas Knob Shelter
18.6 miles

We had the entire shelter to ourselves last night so we got up early to make sure we got to the shelter today. Today's hike saw sunshine and we actually put on sunglasses. At lunch we stopped at Lost Mountain Shelter and read the shelter journal, it said the shelter was packed last night so we are lucky we stayed at Saunders. We also ran into Boogy Legs and Giggles who were slack packing. They took our trash and after the last few days we had a lot of trash.

Lunch at the shelter was awesome. We had Sunflower bread with honey and raisins (Sydney had cherries), and also had baby food fruit with it. We all loved it. 

As we headed up Whitetop Mountain we saw two fighter planes in the valley below us. They banked around the mountain.

Once we hit VA 600 at Elk Garden the trail opened up and we saw our first, and only, pony. This area is famous for the wild ponies but we only saw one. 

The hike was easy till the last 2 miles, it was so rocky and steep and wet, very muddy and stepping around the mud took forever. I think it took about 2 hours to go those two miles. At one point Sydney says "I just bagged my fear and zip locked it and threw it in the trash and jumped off the rock".  They also had fun saying "Obla is so cute/strong that...."  The one that made them laugh was "Obla was so tough she could pee her name into concrete."  Another one was "Obla is so cute the flowers bloom when she walks past."  

The two story shelter was nice, but packed with weekend hikers who try to take up as much space as possible. The good thing is they had lots of food and were happy to hand it out. Harvey was getting water and missed the fajita wraps that Pete and I got, he was very upset and I had to comfort him for awhile.  It is about 8:30 and the kids are having fun talking to other hikers. One hiker brought paper and colored pencils and is letting the kids draw.

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