Miles hiked: 21.5
Camped at: cowboy camping at a little ridge campsite with Blue Yonder
Today felt like trail magic central! The late morning held a piece of pizza, kumquats (first time ever – I like them!), and great conversation and news of a hummingbird nest from trail maintainers Tom & Jenny. Thanks again, it was wonderful talking and walking with you!
During a great midday siesta at the last crossing/ford of Deep Creek, with Hemlock, Princess, Mr Sandals, and Papa Bear (who I just met today), Papa Bear was teasing us with stories of a root beer float he got last year at the next road crossing. He waxed on and on about it – and we laughingly thought he was pulling our legs. Lo and behold, what do we finally see when we drag ourselves away from siesta? An RV and Coppertone, a former thru hiker giving out root beer floats! Amazingly, he isn’t the same trail angel who handed them out last year to Papa Bear, but they did meet further down the trail and had a happy time looking at Coppertone’s pictures.
Before all the trail magic, the day’s hike was defined by cliff ridge walking – gorgeous this morning following Deep Creek, highlighted by a foot soak break in a natural hot springs; and warm, sunny, and breezy this afternoon. Late afternoon and early evening is fast becoming my favorite time of day to hike – I seem to get a second wind and really get my stride going strong and steady. While the rest of our little group decided to camp at the last water source at mile 318, Blue Yonder and I still had energy and went on 2 miles to this tiny ridge top campsite. It’s mostly sheltered from the worst of the wind by shrubbery, and the stars are stunning. So was sunset: