Back to civilization

Because you are in the “Green Tunnel” for miles and miles each day then it’s exciting to have any view happen. As a result I felt compelled to take this picture. Afterwards I felt it was a nice composition with the flowers and trees in the foreground and the valley and rain clouds behind.
Small Slice told me the night before about the Catawba Grocery being only about 0.5 miles off trail which is unique since most stores are miles off trail. In addition I was tapering in preparation to flying home and was only hiking 8.5 miles. So why not stop for some treats!
What treats you ask? Well two 16 oz. Cokes (yup, the biggest ones) and a pint of cherry ice cream at 8 AM. I call it a special trail breakfast.
I thought the trail drop off. looked especially steep but now looking at it in this picture it look about average yet it did go down and down and down.
The night before we had a downpour about 10 PM. The wind blew rain into my tent. Lightning struck nearby which was frightening. However in about an hour it was over. In the morning I packed up my wet and damp things and hiked on. When I was done hiking (I was tapering and did 9.4 miles) I hung up my things to dry. This included my tent and sleeping bag among other things. In less than an hour all we’re dry.
My left shoe now has a large gaping hole after the tape fell off. Luckily not much trail debris has been getting in and bothering me. Kathy is sending me new shoes and inserts to my Daleville hotel.
One of the “famous” spots on the AT is McAfee Knob. I got there early in the morning and had no one to take my picture standing or sitting on the edge so a selfie has to do. Actually I’m afraid of heights and wouldn’t be caught anywhere near the edge so a selfie is just fine.
A panoramic image from McAfee Knob.
Water from a culvert – yum! The pipe is especially helpful because has less sediment and grunge coming out of it. I’m drinking 4-5 liters a day so planning and getting water is a necessary daily ritual.
The next sight after a descent and ascent from McAfee Knob is Tinker Cliffs. Although we have many needless ups and downs I felt these two were worth it.
Just another scenic picture from up high of green valleys mottled in sunlight.
Today’s hike, the last of my taper hikes, went by these massive granite boulders at the top of a mini-climb. The sunlight, lichens and mosses make interesting patterns on them.
At 8 AM I took a snack break on the rocks behind the tree with the white blaze on it. I took off my pack, sat on the rocks, mixed orange flavoring in my water, ate a Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar, and drank my yummy water. I only had 9.3 miles and soon I was back in civilization with traffic, shopping centers, and the busyness we call daily life.