Rock Gap to Siler Bald
Miles Hiked: 7.9
AT milage: 113.7
This morning I still woke up at 7am without an alarm, even though I fully intended on sleeping in because I had a real bed. Andrea and I got breakfast at McDonalds and got ready to check out of the hotel. My pack felt so much heavier after adding in all my food from my resupply. Afterwards we walked to Outdoor 76, a hiker store in town. It was funny carrying my pack down Main Street but everyone knows it is a hiker town. At Outdoor 76 I picked up an 11 Liter waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. I realized my trash compactor bag wasn’t going to work out the way I wanted and I need a way to keep my sleeping bag dry when I’m hiking in the rain.
After I checked out I was sitting outside the store waiting on Andrea who was buying a new pair of shoes because her feet are messed up. She is staying another night in town to rest up but I was planning on getting back on trail today. Outside the store I started talking to a nice guy named Will who was sitting on the bench waiting on his wife and daughter who were shopping as well. We were talking about his family and my current life on trail when he offered to take me out to lunch with his family. I said yes!
For lunch we went to The Gazebo. It was this cute little half outdoor/ indoor restaurant right next to a creek. They had sandwiches and soup. It was delicious! I ate lunch with Will, his wife Astrid, daughter Michelle, her husband Brian and four of their friends who are in town. I had such a good time talking to them and learning about their lives. They got to learn about the trail some too. I explained that what Will did by offering to take me to lunch is called trail magic and people who provide trail magic are known as trail angels. Trail magic can take the form of anything that helps support a hiker. This can look like taking a hikers trash off of them, giving someone a granola bar, ride, or valuable piece of advice. Occasionally people who have previously hiked the trail before or love the trail community set up a picnic of sorts at a point on trail where they know hikers will be passing through and pass out food. Will and family, if you are reading this I told my mom about today and she wanted me to tell you thanks! After lunch I was planning on getting dropped back off in town to wait on the county bus to take me out to the trail. Will went one step further and offered to take me back to the trail! They drove me all the way back to Rock Gap where I got on the bus originally. It was so nice to get on trail an hour or two earlier than I had planned on. I needed the extra time to get my miles in today.
Back on trail I hiked 7.9 miles to Siler Bald. Nothing significant occurred on my hike except when I arrived at the bald. Siler bald is the first bald I have hiked across on the AT and I was really excited to see it. A bald is a bald spot on top of a mountain void of trees and covered in grass. It looks so cool. I dropped my pack and hiked all the way to the top of the bald. It was BEAUTIFUL. There was a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains just like the fire tower. Unfortunately my phone died as I was walking up to the bald so I didn’t get any pictures but I plan to climb it again tomorrow morning. It was incredibly windy and chilly because air was so exposed. I wanted to camp on it, but being the chicken I am, I hiked back to the shelter where I knew some hikers friends would be staying.
At the shelter I pitched my tent and camped with Sassafras, Frog, Noah and Flash. There were a few other hikers I haven’t met before as well.
I really didn’t get that many pictures today because I was in town and my phone died on trail.