Today I hit the milestone of leaving Georgia behind and entering North Carolina. I took a quick picture of the real border but went another few tenths of a mile to the accepted border that has a very twisted tree which is very recognizable. The tree still pretty much looks the same as it did 30 years ago but it looks like it’s a little closer to the ground now. One thing that does look very different is the area around it has grown up with trees where I remember it being an open field.

I was able to get up and get going before 7:00 and the clouds kept sunrise from happening even later than it seems like it should have. It didn’t take too long for the clouds to separate in the sun to start peeking out. I was expecting rain on and off all day long but it didn’t rain once.

I got to Bly Gap a little bit after noon so I stopped and stocked up on water and then had lunch. I had one deli tuna pack that I picked up at Mountain Crossings so I made a tuna wrap.

I kept running into another hiker on and off all morning who was out for about a week at a time with his wife meeting him at the major intersections. Normally this is called slack packing and you don’t carry a full pack since you don’t need to camp and you only need one day’s worth of food. But this guy looked like he was carrying a full pack. He was keeping up a very good pace though and would have enjoyed hiking with him except for he was carrying a radio playing music the entire time and wouldn’t turn it off.

Later in the day I stopped at Muskrat Creek shelter to make coffee and a family with four boys came rolling up to set up camp. The youngest one looked to be about 5 years old and this shelter is 5 miles from the nearest road. It looked like the little one was having trouble with the hiking. I hope they’re able to have a nice time. It seems like a bit of a large endeavor for such a young child.

The rest of the day went pretty much as planned. I started hiking up Standing Indian Mountain knowing that I would go at least to the top and camp somewhere afterward. When I got to the top it had several campers up top so I didn’t bother to go to the summit. I just kept walking down the other side of the mountain knowing that in less than a mile there was a flat spot that should probably have camping. About halfway there I found a camping site a few hundred feet higher than I intended but it looked good so I stopped and made camp.

I tried the other expensive dehydrated dinner that I bought at Mountain Crossings. I followed the directions which were quite vague and let it sit the appropriate amount of time to rehydrate but when I went to eat it many of the noodles were still crunchy. It tasted good but the texture was off putting so I doubt I will buy any more of these in the future. But it definitely tasted better than mashed potatoes so maybe I will.

As I lay in the hammock writing this blog I am realizing how different tonight is than last night. Last night was hot and muggy and miserable but tonight I’m very high up. There’s a strong breeze and it’s very, very cold. Normally I would like this just fine but fog is rolling in with the wind and everything is getting damp. I hope tomorrow that I don’t regret camping so high tonight.

Looking at the maps it’s 50 miles to Wesser. I only have enough food for 2 days (maybe 2 1/2) so it will be a stretch to try and reach there without resupply. The road to Franklin is 22 miles which is also a little too long to make in one day. So I will probably try to go ahead and make it all the way to Wesser but that will be dependent on the weather. Also depends on how long I can tolerate my own stench.