Conditions: overcast and looks like possible rain (maybe from tropical storm Adrea?). 65s/80s

B: Power Bar L: Trail Mix

No rain last night! It’s great to wake up and have a dry area to organize. I’m really considering getting a 10’x10′ tarp to have a dry area. I’m thinking the trail shelter will be full with the upcoming rains.

9:00am : We hike into the NOC and it’s an impressive display of wooden buildings spanning both sides of the river.  We hit the outfitters from some resupply (I got some much needed DEET), they pick up their “drop boxes” (food that they ship ahead to the next town, or packages sent to them from parents).  We decided on a camp site and I’m hoping to get a head start knowing they catch up.
10:30am: 10 miles today w 4000′ gain to the highest point (~6000 total). Here we go.

5pm: Wow. My legs feel like jelly. Luckily I made it to the campsite before it started raining so I can set up my tent. Littlefoot and Berg made it in and it was already raining. They hope to go 18 miles tomorrow to Fontana Dam. I think this is where I’ll bid them farewell and make it to a shelter for a dry night sleep. No doubt everything will be soaked with two days of rain coming. It’s absolutely pouring right now.

At times I forget why I’m here; but I’ve already learned something about myself. I yearn for companionship. It’s great to walk alone some during the day as most do, but to sit and share what happens during the day before it’s over seems to give it a purpose. Almost everyone does this type of hike with a partner. Now I understand this is a need in my life as well. Friends, family … that’s what important to make the days have meaning.
Tough, soggy day.