Day 27 16.6 Miles
The morning was relatively flat with a few ups but overall it was fairly easy. After crossing Dennis Cove Road the walk down to Laurel Falls was gentle and I got a chance to talk to a few section hikers on the way. I ate some lunch at the falls and waited for Speakup to arrive. Since his back has given him problems the last couple days he decided to go for a short swim around the falls in hopes that it will help him out.
We quickly crossed a few large bridges over Laurel Creek and then had one more small climb up and over Ponds Flats and then down into Hampton. When I got to the top of the mountain Tom yelled hey I found a beer in the spring up here. Some trail angel hiked up to the top of this isolated peak and placed a Blue Moon Belgian White in the only water source at the very top. We were both pumped and we shared it happily! The best trail magic I’ve received thus far. Instead of disliking the uphills now we joke that there might be a cold beverage on top.
We arrived at Boots Off Hostel around 5 with an entrance of two guys taking a tree down with a bobcat. They offered us a cold beverage again and we happily accepted. Got to see Gizmo and Blaze and also Tonya at the Hostel. Gizmo and Blaze are trying to the Damascus Dash tomorrow which consists of hiking 42 miles in a day from Watsgua Lake to the town park in Damascus for Trail Days. Kind of an insane undertaking if you ask me, but they said they want to see how hard they can push their bodies. Later on we loaded the owner of the hostels Explorer with about 7 hikers and went into town for a Subway, McDonald’s, and Gas Station run. I ordered a footlong chicken bacon ranch sub with a soda and woofed it down in a hurry before my girlfriend showed up that night. It was really good to see her, I hadn’t seen her since Gatlinburg days! I introduced her to a few hikers, set up her new Big Agnes Copper Spur tent and then called it a night. Trail Days tomorrow!