Wow! Last night was freezing! I take that back...below freezing. I slept well from about 7:30 til midnight. After that was all tossing and turning. Around midnight (or was it 3am?), I woke up and looked at my thermometer inside my tent. 25 degrees! Chances are it was even colder outside my tent. Got out and packed up as quick as my hands would allow me to function, and got to hiking. Tarzan and Flosser weren't quite ready to leave, as they had ice on their tents when they woke up. It was odd. I was a little further down the hill in the apple orchard last night and there was absolutely no frost by me or on my tent. A few feet away up the hill was where the frost started on the ground.
Hiked 3 miles to the Greasy Creek Friendly Hostel by myself. Met CC, the owner, and Brian, another hiker. Tarzan and Flosser showed up shortly after. Those two and Brian ordered a home cooked breakfast, and I wasn't too hungry so I got the beverages I was craving and don't get on the trail...a glass of milk, a glass of OJ, and 2 cups of coffee.
We read in the AT guidebook about an "unfriendly" neighbor and were told more about him from CC. She said he often takes down her signs directing people to the hostel and messes with her and hikers. We witnesses this while we were standing outside the hostel loading up to head out. The old man went riding by on his ATV, Flosser looked at him and nodded with a smile as to say "hello". The neighbor stuck out his arm in a dramatic way, then flipped us the bird! For no reason! We wanted so badly to find a way to get back at this old, mean fart, but didn't want to do anything that would make him want to retaliate against CC or her hostel more. We hiked about 0.6 miles back to Greasy Creek and the AT junction and there were large logs and branches where we had started on the trail from a small campsite earlier that day. The old man took his ATV all the way up here just to rip down her signs, and block the path to her hostel!!! Can you believe that? So... The three of us took all of his "handiwork", broke as many of the branches and logs as we could, chucked some down into ravines and far away, and drug the others a distance away and lodged them between things. We are sure he'll
be back to do it again, but he will have to work to get it this time! Flosser also made some harder to notice notes for hikers pointing them toward the hostel. Maybe the grumpy old man won't see those. We aren't even sure why he is trying to run her business into the ground. She said he has posted numerous of his own signs out on the trail saying that she has had a death in the family or something else had happened and the hostel is closed. What a loser. Best of luck to CC and bless her for keepin on truckin'!
Hiked another 7 miles up a couple thousand feet to Ash Gap (5,350 ft). We have about 600 vertical feet over 1.5 miles to the top of Roan Mountain, which has the highest shelter on the entire AT at 6,275 ft. The mountain is at 6,285 ft. We won't reach anything that high again until we hit the Presidential Range in New Hampshire.
Here's to hoping for a warmer night. Hard to leave this warm fire I built and get into my tent.