And how beautiful it has been. Warm, sunny. filled with birdsong and wildflowers. Gorgeous Smoky Mountain views for miles and miles. It looks like the ocean- but the waves are mountains. all around, an endless sea of mountains.
I met an 86 year old man, "Cimarron" hiking out after injuring his knee. He was attempting a thru-hike and got about 215 miles.
Hiked partly with friends and partly alone. Both were good. Calamity Kate liked my idea for my future photography business: Name it "My Father's World" and the categories "Rocks and Trees" "Skies and Seas" "The Morning Light" "The Lily White", all phrases from the hymn.
"Bird" a wildlife management grad, showed me how to distinguish firs from spruces from hemlocks.
And when I was alone, I gazed at the trees, alive and dead, and the flowers and rocks and the path and said "Lord, this is magnificent. It's no wonder you wanted me to see this.
Hokey as it sounds, I sang "The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music". And I meant every word.
Mild thunderstorms rolled in just after I reached the shelter: Peck's Corner Shelter. Sally AKA "Arriba" is here, and Calamity Kate and her partner Jen AKA "Skipper" , N-Da-Wind, Bird, Young Scott, Sailor J, Scarecrow, Steve (a section hiker), Kismet, others whose names I don't know. The shelter is full. Three tents outside, and Scarecrow's hammock. Somebody started it with "Goodnight, Yard Sale..." I answered "Goodnight, Jim-Bob" and others joined in, "Goodnight, John-boy, goodnight Mary Ellen," And then we all started humming The waltons' theme music. Life is good.
miles done: 215.1
miles to go: 1,963.2
marathons done: 8.1
marathons to go: 75.2