Appalachian Trail: Mile 106.6; 3858 ft

The sun is setting in the distance. I am cowboy camping tonight. Though it was cloudy and rained a bit this afternoon, and thunderstormed yesterday — I’ll take my chances.  The sky looks clear to me. I have selected a spot above a spring. The trail continues along the ridgeline. I climbed above the trail and was able to find a spot just level enough for me to sleep comfortably. It will be quite a steep climb back down…but I’ll deal with that in the morning.  I came 20.6 miles today. I am pleased with this. My body is sore. My legs feature more of a dull noodley sensation, while my feet are sort of electric — like the soreness is having a dance party deep in the tissue. Oddly enough, I enjoy this too. I know tomorrow my body will be able to endure more than today. I always wake up fresh and ready. The body is an amazing machine.

I climbed Albert mountain today. There was a maintained tower on top. The view was fantastic. It was still a bit cloudy, but the rolling hills were a sight to behold.

Other than the very steep and rocky climb to the top of Albert, North Carolina has proven an easier

Something just dropped on to my sleeping bag. It sounded like a rain drop. There is no moisture though. It must have been something else. Oh my. If it starts raining in the middle of the night, I will be exposed without any place to set up my tent. Part of me likes the excitement of taking this risk. Part of me even enjoys the potential struggle (I have been there before). I suppose if it only sprinkles I can try to just lay my tent over the top of me (I have done this once before as well.)

There was a shelter just passed Albert mountain. I believe most of the hikers stopped there to camp for the night, so there wasn’t any traffic on the trail moving forward. As I turned a bend I saw a creature hurry down the trail. It seemed dog-like with a bushy tail, but it’s coloring was like that of a fox. Are there foxes out here? Nonetheless, it filled me with excitement.  Thus far, North Carolina has been absolutely beautiful!

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