Beautiful sunny morning. Going to be 70. Perfect hiking day.
He came across 3 thru-hikers and hiked a bit and then all stopped for lunch together on the shores of Watauga Lake. After he had lunch he moved on as they decided to rest a bit longer.
He then came across some other hikers that were basking on the beach on the other side of the lake. Resting, drinking beer and eating Oreo cookies. (strange combination) He stopped for a bit to chat. He ate Oreos but passed on the beer since it was only 1:30 in the afternoon and he wanted to get more miles in so he could hit Damascus, Va this weekend.
Lots of steep ups and downs today.
Tonight he is sleeping out in the wilderness alone somewhere near Turkey pen Gap. Says he isn't scared. I would be. He says he hadn't seen anyone in quite awhile. The next shelter was a ways away and he was tired and didn't feel like traveling. So, he decide to make camp. Set up his tent, went and fetched water, cooked dinner, did dishes, hung up his food bag(so the bears couldn't get at it - he must to this nightly).
He said again today there were some really touch ups and downs but he still managed to do 23 miles. WOW! He loves the challenge. Wonder how he will do later in the northern VA where it is flatter. Seems his feet and legs like the climbs.
He called again right before crawling into his tent to tell me about the beautiful sunset. He said amazing, took some pics and then we said goodnight.