We were up early to help Jamie get ready to head out… The four older boys slept outside.  Taylor slept in his hammock, and Kole slept on top of the picnic table.  He just didn’t want to miss out.

I managed to “grill” muffins for breakfast.  They were pretty yummy. 

After we said our goodbyes, we started packing up our stuff so that we could be ready when Miss Janet arrived.  Just as we were finishing up, she pulled in with her van.  We dropped off our packs at her house, stopped by Walmart to get some food for lunch, then we headed to Sams Gap for a 13.5 mile hike over to Spivey Gap. 

In case you are wondering what slack packing is… it is when a hiker only has to carry a day pack which has water, a jacket, a headlamp, and lunch inside of it.  Instead of carrying the typical 30-40 pound pack, it might only weight 3-5 pounds.  It is really awesome!  It also means, that typically, the hiker returns to a place to sleep without having to set up tents.  When slack packing with Miss Janet, we arrived home to a huge pans of lasagna, and did not have to even worry about making dinner. Crazy!!!

We ate lunch pretty early into the hike, and recorded a short trail side update on Facebook live.  The kids really liked the idea of being able to eat fluffy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and novelty items like fruit roll-ups with tattoos one them.  Haha!

We hiked through some really beautiful terrain, including some grassy balds.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  Without packs on our backs, we felt like we could fly over the mountainous terrain.  It was a totally weird feeling actually. 

Zoey hiked with Ryan and I for a good part of the day.  At one point she hiked a little ahead, and we found her perched on this log.  She was quite content to sit there all day.  

This is a typical view of my day… seeing my kids in the distance, or knowing that they are ahead of us somewhere.  We usually give them a point at which to stop so that we can all catch up with one another.  

Today, we told them to stop at the top of Big Bald.  Little did we know that the wind was whipping across the top of the mountain.  To get out of the wind, they all hiked a little further.  We called them back in order to catch some photos.  Someone was gracious enough to take a photo of all of us at the top.  

The day was absolutely amazing.  We finished those 13.5 miles in only about 5 hours, and had so much fun hiking together.  

The scenery never gets old.  Here are a few more random pictures from the day.

When we reached Spivey Gap, we had to wait a little while for Miss Janet.  The kids played in the road, while we waited for her.  Yes, I know, probably not the safest thing in the world, but they had fun.  Riley spent the time reading his book.  He has read atleast 6 or 7 books since we have been on the trail.  

When we got back to Miss Janets house, we ate lasagna.  Pigpen, Little Foot, and Shutterbug all made a birthday cake.  It wasnt for anyone in particular, but it was yummy.  

After dinner, we all hunkered down.  The girls and I shared a room with the other gals staying over night at Miss Janets, and Ryan and the boys slept on the floor in the living room with all of the other guy hikers.  It was a crazy crowded little house, but it was a really great time.  

We could never have dreamt up all of the crazy experiences that we are having out here.  But we are taking it all in, and really enjoying ourselves. 

Happy Trails ~ The Thru Crew

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