What a Bluebird Day I had today! Not a cloud in the sky and perfect 65-70 degrees. I’m sure this won’t last long as the weather changes daily, if not hourly. But today, oh boy, it was picture perfect. I left camp before 7am, well just barely.
The morning was easier than usual with a short climb to a tall grassy hill. It was lovely and something different than what I’ve seen before. No one had mowed it down, no happy cows grazed on it, just tall grasses blowing in the wind. The trail was lined with Blueberry’s and Blackberries but unfortunately, I’m too early for those. Better to save them for the bears. They’ll need to fatten up being I haven’t seen any salmon, or for that matter, any fish of any kind in the creeks along the way.
Blue and I were getting some early morning miles in when I noticed a sign to Shelton Graveside. A short spur trail led us to the graves of a pair of Union soldiers who were killed at this location. They were visiting family in the Confederacy during the Civil War in 1863. The area is grassy with designated campsites and fire rings. I don’t think I’d camp there but the two guys, Snake Charmer and Snake Whisperer were there. I told them about my Timber Rattler encounter yesterday and showed them pictures. They were amazed by the size of that snake, let alone the 11 rattles on its tail!
As I headed down the trail, I heard someone from the Flint Mountain Shelter call out my name. It’s Geisha Girl on the trail and most hikers call me GiGi. Rapunzel and Potatoes had stopped to have their morning coffee. They spent the last couple of days at Gmone Hostel in Hot Springs, while Blue and I went to Asheville. I stopped for a bit, chatted and beat feet to catch up with Blue.
I ran into some Trail Magic, that this older couple and their dog Kobe left for us hikers. I ate Kettle Chips which are about my most favorite salty thing ever! Finally at our planned destination, Rector Laurel Road, I met up with Blue. We stopped for lunch, soaked our feet and walked to the Laurel Hostel, which was just down the road. They had a sign posted for soda, pizza and beds. Cash only! We bit and walked the road and had some drinks, emptied our trash and met up with Rapunzel and Potatoes, who also had the same great idea.
We all went back to the trail and finished up our last few miles for the day. There were several day hikers, a few Sobo’s and a handful of thru-hikers I’d never met before. It seems that with all the people taking off for Trail Days in Damascus last weekend, I’m meeting some new faces.
Our final rest stop was Sugarloaf Gap. These two gals, Census and Spice Girl stopped and yakked with us for sometime. Ends up, we all started on the same day, April 15th but I’d never met them before. After talking for awhile, they have been one day behind me until today. They caught up after one month. With our extended trip to Asheville, I’m meeting new people and seeing old friends. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of this trail. The many people I meet and reconnect with daily, if not weekly, or possibly months later.
Blue and I decided to stop short of the Shelter. Everyone we talked to today we’re headed that way. We felt we wouldn’t find a decent campsite ahead. What we did find was a perfectly flat site at Rice Gap. Once again, we would be secluded and away from certain Bear activities as Bears love Shelters where there is guaranteed food!
Today was a great day. Sometimes anti-climatic days make the best days. No snakes to sneak up on me, no crazy falls or trip ups, just a perfectly crafted Tuesday. On Tuesday mornings, you would typically find me and Blue at Bayside Cafe in Granite Bay, California. We would be making espressos, heating pastries or just talking with friends. This is our ministry. How I love volunteering and greeting everyone that walks through our Cafe Doors. We have incredible Christian leadership with Debbie who keeps us focused on the mission at hand. We are there to serve whoever walks in, which means do whatever Jesus would do. It’s pretty simple. I miss all my Cafe Family and look forward to the day I get back to making coffee and loving our extended family. Until then, happy trails!
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
Proverbs 31:25-26 NIV
2 thoughts on “Day 33: May 17, 2022 Jerry Cabin to Rice Gap Elevation Profile +3285/-3579 14.0 Miles; Total 315.9 Miles”
Hi Kelly: I promise this will be the last time I bring up the subject of you writing a book about your AT adventure. That said and, IF YOU’RE INTERESTED, check out Bob Emery at https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Emery/e/B009NT4AD2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share. Bob lives in Charlottesville VA. I’ve known Bob since high school and in recent years we have renewed our friendship. While Bob was attending UCSB 50+ years ago, he joined a Christian ministry. Over the years, Bob got more involved with Christianity to the point that he founded a ministry and began writing children’s books about Jesus (wouldn’t it be interesting if Bayside’s school library had one or more of Bob’s books on its shelves). What might be of interest to you is Bob’s life experience, his experience as an author, who his publisher is and how he went about getting published. All food for thought as you while away the hours on the AT. In the meantime, keep on trekking.
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Kelly I can’t even begin to tell you how every single one of your posts makes me smile and praise God. So glad that we’re my BSF class leader, even if only for 1 year before we moved to Dayton-NV. May God continue to use you along the trail for His glory, keep you and Blue safe and free of injuries along the trail as well as to your destination goal where your husband will meet you!
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