April 7: we woke up on the mountain with 20 mile an hour winds and 35 degrees. Boy, you don’t stick around long! Joes knee was feeling pretty good today so we did 15 miles with moderate up and downs. The weather was cold and windy but dry for a change. We hiked up to another mountain top shelter and found freezing high winds again. So we decided (me, Joe, music man, flower girl, and clover) to keep going down the other side of the mountain at unicoi gap. We are doing a little stealth camping i.e. not authorized area. It’s nice, we built a fire and the winds are much better. It will still get under 40 tonight, but that’s much better than mountain.

What’s really nice is how everyone is wired down to the same goal of completing this hike. There are no millennials or baby boomers, or old or young, just a bunch of folks totally on the same page with each other. Everyone shares and helps each other. There’s no fighting or arguing– everyone just totally gets along. It’s quite refreshing.

Food on the trail note: crushed fritos (jalapeño) really should be added to any camp stove concoction: instant potatoes, mac and cheese, whatever. Great texture and crunch. Happy trails and good night.

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