Yes, today is my birthday and I celebrated with coffee rum, peanut M&Ms, and Welch’s fruit snacks.

The crew I was sleeping with got up early, so that was great.  I was off and hiking by 7am with my headlamp.  There is some running event going on because I passed some trail runners in the dark.  I would pass by two or three more throughout the day.

I did not sleep well last night because I was in a shelter.  The floors are hard and people make noise.  I am in a shelter again tonight but with fewer people so hoping for better sleep.

I met another hiker early in the day on Rocky Top who is from Ocala and just about to finish her section hike of the AT as soon as she finishes the Smokies. They normally live in a motor home as she does sections up and down the trail. I hope we can connect later off the trail so I can pick her brain on the trailer life.

The day stayed cool and did not rain but fog always makes it feel like it just finished raining.  My shoes did not get soaked, so I was in good spirits most of the day.

The mileage for the day was shorter than I was hoping for, but the shelters ahead are spaced further apart.  Tomorrow I go up Clingmans Dome which is the high point on the AT and it will probably be in fog.  But maybe I will get some sort of view.  We shall see tomorrow.