After a night in the comfort of a bed, we peeled ourseleves out and headed to get some snacks, new socks for Em, and new insoles. The insoles that came with Emily's Merrill boots were essentially a strip of cloth; the new insoles should keep her heel more contained and offer arch support. She also needed some new socks to replace some threadbare Smartwools so we got some fancy Darn Toughs, and we will see if they live up to the hype. Alos Tyler reluctantly grabbed a poncho cuz, well, Emily has been making Tyler jealous of hers. Finally, we got hit the trail for a rather late at start at 10:45 am.
*thin thin thin too thin
We found our first trail magic about a half mile down the trail from Neel Gap! Trail magic is any suprise support along the way including free food or other items left on the trail. A perfect start to our longest day!
Shortly after the Oreos, half way up a steep hill, we ran into 3Dub (short for www- world wide wanderer). We hiked with him for a while in the morning and afternoon. He had enough travel stories about hitchhiking around southeast asia, his childhood in Cuba, and riding around in India to name a few, that the time really flew by. We ran into 3Dub for a second time later that afternoon when we both stopped for beers provided by a Trail Devil who is essentially a Trail Angel who gives out beer). Our Trail Devils were a big guy named Willie and Chicken Fried passing out PBRs to hikers. They also gave us the tastiest cheetos we've ever had.
There was a bit of pressure on us that day to get to our destination to set up caml since a storm was supposed to be coming in, depending on which rumor you believed, sometime between am 7 pm and 11 pm.
We made it to Low Gap at around 5:30 pm and heard the water source had Norovirus, so we picked up our water for the night a bit further down the trail. We bid our farewells and see you soons to 3Dubs (since, the way things have been going so far, we are bound to see him soon). Dad, Funky, and Marbles were at the spring collecting water too. They decided they wanted to push on with us and stealth camp.
We stealth camped (meaning at an unlabeled camp site) for the first time and had our first campfire! We used some of Funky's olive oil to make our cous cous for dinner that night. Funky had made some funky choices for groceries when we stayed in Neel Gap. His strange resupply purchases consisted of fresh celery, frozen turkey, 48 hot dogs, and a pint of olive oil. Never go shopping when you are hungry. Also a fun note, the three of them all drank straight olive oil during the hike that day for some reason. Why? We don't know. Calories maybe?
*Funky Stuff's tent
It started to rain, luckily, after we had finished dinner. It sent us all into a worried, frenzied scrambled (with much hillarity) to hang our bear bags, brush our teeth and get inside our tents. As we yelling good night to each other, Marbles asked the important question "How do you keep bears away when your feet smell like corn chips?" No one knows.
The lightning, that night, sometimes lasted for seconds and lit up the world like someone turned a switch. After 14 miles and 7 or so summits, a night time storm was non ideal. Tyler, at least, slept very well.
Tyler's steps: 35,030
Emily's steps: 37,010