Day 56

Day 56 -May 2 2017 – 16.1 miles – Thomas Knob Shelter to Hurricane Mountain Shelter

I got up early to see if I could get some sunrise pictures.

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I went back into the shelter to get some warmer clothes.  As I was coming back down the ladder from the second floor I heard someone say, “Ponies!”  I popped my head out of the shelter and saw a pony with my trekking pole in its mouth.  Without thinking I went over and took the trekking pole out of its mouth.  Once I got it back I realized I just walked up to a somewhat wild animal and took away what it was trying to eat.  Not smart.  The animal didn’t seem to mind though.  It just kind of stood there like, ” You got anything else to eat?”

My trekking pole was ok.  It seemed the ponies were more interested in the salt from my sweat than the pole itself.    IMG_20170502_075512148.jpg

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Me and the pony that tried to eat my stuff.

 

When I looked around I noticed it wasn’t just one pony.  It was a herd.

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Zeus, Flashfire, and several others left really early and missed the ponies at the shelter.  Needless to say, everyone who was still in the shelter hung out with the ponies for a while.

Stoat was loving it.

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Eventually the ponies got tired of licking salt off of dirty hikers and went on their way.

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Once the ponies left we decided to get going ourselves.  I wasn’t long until we found more Ponies.

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If someone showed me a picture of the scene I would have guessed it was somewhere out west.

 

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the scenery.

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Soon we passed a rock out cropping and we had to investigate.  It reminded me scene from the Lion King were Simba is held over a ledge for all to see.

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I tried to reenact the sceane but the angle of the camera wasn’t quite right.

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Not long after that, we saw a rocky hill off in the distance.  When we got closer we saw that we would have to take a short side trail to get there.  Never ones to pass up a short side trail, we went over to check it out.  When we reached the top the wind was absolutely howling.

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When we got back to the trail we went through the “Fat man squeeze”.  A cool little cave like area.

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A few minutes later we saw a mile marker on the ground.

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We crossed the maker together and gave each other high fives. We had hiked 500 miles.  We took a minute to try to let that sink in.

 

Not long after we passed the mile marker we saw a sign that said, “No Horses”.  We found that pretty humerus as there were packs of small horses all over the place.

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“No horses”

Around 11 o’clock we ate an early lunch at the wise shelter with a few other hikers and a few horses.

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After lunch the trail went down onto a large flat area.  The trail went around in a horseshoe shape (pun intended) and gave us a view of all the peaks we had just gone over.  The wind had died down and the whole area was quiet and peaceful.

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Just when we thought we had seen the last of the ponies we found a large pack grazing.  We hung out there for a little while.  Stoat crept up to the herd and I relaxed on a rock.

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We ended our day near the Hurricane Mountain shelter.  Stoat and I had finished setting up our hammocks when Godzilla, and Turkey stopped by.  They were in very high spirits.  They said that today was the best day on the trail.  I was glad to hear it because tomorrow would be their last day hiking the AT.  I was happy that they were leaving on a high note.

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