April 30: We got onto the trail early out of Hot Springs after a last breaky at the Smokie diner. The weather was nice and I could really feel the strength in my legs after the much needed zero. We hiked 15 instead of the planned 12 since it was so nice and we were feeling strong. We out stripped our water supply and couldn’t find any at the stealth camp we chose at the gap. The dehydration caught up with me that night at 3 am when my calf Charlie horsed like I’ve never experienced before. There was much screaming and thrashing about in my tent undoubtedly leading my fellow heretofore sleeping hikers to believe that the feared bear attack had finally arrived. Normally one would turn to a significant other for help straightening the leg and working the knot out. Out in the woods, mummied into a sleeping bag, and confined to a tent, I just screamed and thrashed before determining that gnawing my leg off was also not an option. Finally, all I could do is raise my sleeping bag clad legs straight in the air in order to access the offending leg. This, of course, half collapsed the tent. You too, dear readers, could be experiencing these similar exploits. Pictured is sunset at Max Patch. Happy trails.

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