After going to the clinic on the 20th, we still put in about 8 miles in a half day. I was exhausted after that.
Camped up top of a ridge with a couple from Tennessee, and Shanti. I set up part of my tent and just laid there, trying to work up some energy to do more. Made dinner and Shanti gave me some tea to help. Woke up that night in a coughing fit but felt better by morning.
Got an early jump on the day and knocked out 15 miles, and got to spot just after Jump Up Lookout that was flat enough to set up tents. Had a great, warm, dry night and woke up to dry everything! Woohoo! Now that's a great feeling being able to pack everything up nice and dry!
Then on the 22, we only had 3 miles or so to Nantahala Outdoor Center. Great area right along the Nantahala River, and a very helpful staff at the outfitter. Picked up our 2 day food resupply from the wonderful Amy back in Cali, and also picked up my package from backcountry.com. My new Snow Peak titanium stove (weighing in at only 1.9 ounces!), and a new dry bag for clothes and food. Chris got a new backpack, and then we had lunch along the river. As we were leaving, our waiter told us that a man wanted to buy us a round. Well, we postponed hitting the trail and enjoyed a beer with Gary. He had hiked a good part of the trail about 25 years ago, until he caught something from the water and couldn't go on. He told us a few stories and gave us some great encouragement to keep going on and wished us the best in completing our goal of reaching Maine. Gary, if you're reading this, Chris and I thank you for the cold beer again, and since you didn't have a trail name 25 years ago, we'd like to give you the honorary trail name Beer Man! Thanks again and cheers!
We finally got back back on the trail with full stomachs and some new gear, and hiked 7 miles (uphill the ENTIRE way) to Sassafras Shelter. Got rained on pretty good somewhere going uphill but dried out after a while. Good night of sleep in the shelter with Froot Loop, Tom, Steve, Tommy, and Buddy!