Day 26 -April 2 2017- 11.5 miles – Locust grove – Cable Gap
We didn’t feel like we were at 100 percent in the morning. I guess we were still recovering from our illness.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The trees were budding and there were birds chirping. Only 10 days earlier the trees were still bare and seeing a bird was rare.
100 Percent or not, it felt really good to be back on the trail.
When we approached state road 143 I could see in the distance a picnic bench with food on it and people milling about. “Stoat, look! It’s trail magic!”
When we got there Ms Connie welcomed us and let us know our food options. There was pulled pork sandwiches, PB and J sandwiches, candy, fresh baked cookies of all different kinds, soda, chips, and a few fresh vegetables. Ms. Connie said she did trail magic once a year with her daughter. Her daughter had to work this year so she did all the work herself.
We sat down and helped ourselves to some food. While we ate I listened to the conversations of the other hikers. I learned that the small ” bubble” of hikers that had been behind Stoat and I before we got sick was now ahead of us. There was another small “bubble” a few days behind us. We were in the lull of traffic between two “bubbles”, which was right where we wanted to be.
It was amazing to see how fast news traveled on the AT. Faster hikers could let us know what was going on behind us. Hikers in front of us left notes in the logbooks at shelters. Which gave us an idea about what was going on ahead of us.
After saying thank you to Ms. Connie we headed out. A mile later we found ourselves at the base of Jacobs Ladder. I looked up and began to regret eating so much at the trail magic. Jacobs Ladder gains 600ft in 0.6 miles. It was easily the steepest part of the trail so far and I had a belly full of pulled pork.
We paced ourselves and eventually made it to the top without throwing up.
A few miles later a hiker named Pacer was stopped and was looking at something in the bushes. It was some sort of small lizzard. It looked like a mini bearded dragon. Whatever it was, it was the first lizard we saw on trail. Which meant it was warming up!
( Quite possibly the worst picture of a lizard ever )
A mile before Cable Gap there was a cooler filled with cold soda. More Trail Magic. There we met SourPatch and Captain Planet. Among other things, we talked about how weird it was to have some sunburn in early April. Without leaves on the trees yet it was very easy to get one.
At cable Gap we met more hikers including: Amazon, Barbell, and First Aid. SourPatch and Captain Planet were there as well. It felt good be around hikers again.