Posted from California, United States.
To beat the heat, I was up and hiking by 6:30AM. We camped at 3700’ and climbed all day – finally topping out at around 8300’. All morning the trail wound and gently climbed the Blue Ridge. I was able to get in a hiking groove and maintain quite the pace up the hill.
I carried 4 liters of water when we left McDonald’s. I had hoped to pick up one more at a water cache where we camped, but it was bone-dry. I ran out of water about a mile before the top of the climb and about 4 miles before the next listed water source. I was pleasantly surprised when the top of the ridge was covered in snow banks. I filled my water bottles with snow and hiked on while they melted.
I caught up with Jewel Thief just before the highway. He had been lost for a bit when the trail disappeared under snow and he was also missing the map for the last 5 miles. We made the 22 miles to the highway by 3:30PM – plenty of time to make it into town.
In the trail registry at the hardware store was a list of host families for hikers to spend the night with. One was circled so we called them up. They sounded nice and offered to pick us up after we finished errands. As we walked around town numerous people would stop and ask how the hike was going and if we had a place to stay. The friendliness of this town is refreshing. Our host, Mr. Lopez, came and picked us up after dinner. He had a large apartment over his garage for hikers to stay in. He took and did our laundry while we cleaned up and watched a movie. I’ll be crashing on one of the many couches up here to rest up for Mt. Baden-Powell tomorrow.