Happy St. Patricks day! My pack is finally 4 beers lighter that were drunk on top of a bald on thunderhead mountain with a view from on top of the clouds it was a grand celebration. On top of that we we taught Victor how to shotgun a beer, he was pretty good at it for a first timer.
I hiked exactly 12 miles today from Mollies Ridge shelter to Derrick Knob shelter. Relatively easy terrain, lots of ups and downs made more strenuous by alcohol, worth it.
We met our first 2 ridgerunners today, first one right after we started and second at the shelter we are staying at. He'll be here wit us overnight. He gave us oreos. I like him.
I think we scared one of them with the stories of the mice in last nights shelter, they were lively. One hit my feet, one ran over Achilles' arm, and I thought I heard one getting into my pack but wasn't sure. If the shit on the floor around me and in the cracks near the wall is anything to go by, we're in for it again tonight.
I THOUGHT that I got lost today. I popped out of some bushes onto the trail I thought that I was on. THAT was an odd feeling. I followed the trail on the ground knowing it would at least go SOMEWHERE. I kept walking not knowing for sure where I was going for a while, not seeing any signs indicating if I made the right choice or not. What looked like a baby turkey crossed the trail and I asked it for directions. He was of no help, and I made sure to tell him so. 15minutes of walking later, just as I was getting ready to pull out my guidebook and compare elevations, I saw it. That 2"x6" white swatch on a tree. The signature white blaze that says "you are on the right path", what a relief. No backtracking necessary.
Talked to some of the weeekenders here tonight and they gave us tips for Gatlinburg. One of them gave me a few shots of homemade moonshine. It was pretty good, and really complimented my dinner of salmon and fettucini alfredo. They say we can get more in Gatlinburg without much effort will do.
15 miles in store for tomorrow so I need lots of rest tonight. My knees have been at almost 100% again so that's good. Time to start increasing the mileage. The ridgerunner has a fire going in the fireplace INSIDE the shelter. what a treat!