We have a deadline to keep with Piper & De on April 12th in the Smokies. In order to do so, we have to average 12 miles a day. Our first 12 mile-er was today. We set out aiming to get from Hawk Mountain Shelter to Woody Gap which goes over Justus and Sassafras Mountains. Sassafras ended up being quite an unwelcome surprise, but we are starting to see a lot of familiar faces in our hiking "bubble," which means comradery during the hike. We met Marshmallow, and ran into Funky Stuff again. Also, the night before Grant and Will (with the hat) showed up at camp. Funky Stuff and Tyler played some creek catch and baseball when we stopped to soak our swollen feet. Tyler cannot throw to save his life. We perhaps stayed too long, but it made the rest of the day possible.
We trudged on passed where most people were stopping for the day, Gooch Shelter. We made it 1.4 miles to Gooch Gap in 30 minutes, but somehow the mostly flat hike to Woody Gap, a mere 3.5 miles, took three hours. We believe time or spatial dilation is to blame. At Woody Gap, we got some oranges from a lovely lady traveling all over with her dog. We met Escape, who managed to wrangle a bunch of beers to get dropped off by some guy in a truck. We enjoyed them around a tiny fire with Grant (trail name now solidifying as either Dad for his wisdom or Corndog for his Dad jokes- he's 23), Will (Marbles - cuz he lost 'em), Nick, Erin (Tinklebell because she always has to pee), Funky Stuff, Escape (who has his own blog escapetheoffice.com), and Dave.
As for us, trail names still TBD. Tyler's steps: 39,627 Emily's steps: 41,884