AT Thru-Hike Day 43

Campsite along Whitetop Laurel Creek (2,299) mile 477.6 to Elk Garden (4,449 feet) mile 494.9 for a 17.3 mile day!

Today was one of those days with an AT special, we call them “PUD” pointless up and down!!!

At one point we shared a trail with the Virginia Creeper Trail. Crossing one of the bridges for the creeper we saw a 4 foot long king snake, slithering his way around the edge of the bridge, looking for his next victim.

Once again, we turned and went back into the woods, leaving civilization and cell service behind! These last two days were the longest I had gone without cell service. It’s always good at night to end the day with a call back home to Suzanna or my two boys, or sometimes, both.

Now, it was time to go through these cool little “gates” into a field that I’m sure has livestock in it from time to time.

We crossed a meadow of green grass and beautiful yellow flowers that were all tall and being tossed about by the breeze that was also hitting our face.

Continuing on, it was time to start the climb up White Top Mountain and boy was it a tough one. I would not necessarily call this one a PUD because at the top there were some pretty extraordinary views.

Once we got to the top, Buzzard Rock (5,087 feet) I had cell service and was very thankful! I was thankful today because my oldest son turned 20 today and when you have managed to keep your first born child alive for 20 years, it deserves a FaceTime call from dad on top of a mountain!

After the call we made reservations for a hostel on Wednesday, May 26; it’s an alpaca farm!!

Knowing we had these reservations, we knew we had to start doing some bigger miles to get there in time. So, we pressed on, rounding white top mountain and the view kept coming! Wow!!!

Descending down, we came to state road 600/Elk Garden. The field across from it which will be tomorrow’s starting lineup is absolutely stunning!

For the first time in a while, if not ever, we sat by a fire and roasted hot dogs that were provided by, trail angel and 2018 Thru-hiker “Snorts”. We were joined by “vintage”, “quiver”, and Nick. Nick just randomly showed up in the parking lot and we invited him to join us. He brought his guitar and played and Snorts had her ukulele.

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