After spending some time resting, making certain everyone was healthy, and getting to know our new friends from Cherokee a bit better, we awoke with anticipation and excitement to head back to the trail.
Ms. Janet, our trail angel from Gooch Gap arrived at 11:00 this morning to pick us up and take us back to the trail. We made the decision not to head back into the Smokies for now, so the plan was to have Ms. Janet take us on to Standing Bear Farm, just outside of the National Park.
We loaded up all of our packs, and made a quick stop at the post office to mail some items home and another box we bumped ahead. While I was at the post office Ryan, Ms. Janet, and the kids went across the street to watch some Cherokee Indians perform tribal hoop dances.
Then we made our way over to Standing Bear Farm, where we picked up our box from our friends, the Sansness Family. Because of plans had changed, our trail box became an opportunity to spread some trail magic with some fellow hikers! The brownies and girl scout cookies were a hit!!!
Just as we were unloading our packs, we were reunited with our friend Foggy!!! His daughter, works with Ryan’s cousins wife, Angie, in Massachusetts!!! It’s a small world. It was great to know he is still on the trail, pecking away at the miles.
Meet Greybeard Adventurer! He is attempting to Thru hike the trail and set the record for the oldest man to complete it! He hiked 22 miles the day before we met him!!! What?!?!? You can follow him here. He has a great story, and as his name indicates, his life has been full of adventures.
Well, we finally made it back to the trail. After a couple of days of rest it is hard to get going again. Because we circumvented the remainder of the Smokies, we now can hike at a slower pace. We are meeting up with Ms. Jane, our angel who rescued us from the trail a month ago, in Hot Springs on the 20th. We are now meandering along the trail, taking time to smell the flowers, or at least stop to really see them.
As Ms. Janet was driving us to the trail she talked to us about hiking the trail for all that you can experience, not necessarily the miles. We all really needed to hear that. She had really great advice for how we can all get our of most days what each of us are needing. We all have needs, and they are all different. Her words were so timely, and yesterday ended up being an amazing day. We hiked and rested. We had time alone and time together. The kids were able to play cards, Belle got to relax in the cold stream, and we all had time to visit with our camp neighbors!
Papa G even have the kids their first tai chi lesson… Before the night got really interesting… But sometimes what happens on the trail should stay on the trail, so we shall refrain from sharing those details.