Happy Birthday, Ava!  It was a great morning.  I made eggs and bagels for everyone for breakfast.  There were no additional hikers in the trailer last night, so it was just the Thru Crew this morning.  

Ryan and the kids decided to slack pack one more day.  They hiked 19.6 miles today.  

David took them to the trailhead, and they hiked out to Watagua Lake.  There is a recreation area called Shook Branch.  That is where they ended their hike. 

Ryan will have to update you all on the sites from the day, as I was not there, but he took a few pictures and sent them to me.  

While they were out hiking, I spent my time helping David drive hikers to the store, or local restaurants, and cleaning the trailer.  Belle stayed with me to rest, and keep me company.  

I am so incredibly proud Ryan and the kids.  They are really doing so great!  

One crazy story Ryan shared with me about the day…  There is a blue blaze trail that led to the town of Hampton.  The white blazes were not too terribly obvious at this certain intersection, and as usual the kids had hiked on ahead of him.  When he got to this intersection on the trail, he was worried that maybe the kids had followed the blue blazes like they had the other day, so he decided to run the trail to see if he could find them.  Well, he ended up running an additional mile, only to discover that they must have stayed on the right path.  He ran back up the mountain, and continued running to try to catch up with them.  I do not know how he had the energy to do that after all the hiking that he had done, but I am glad that he was eventually able to catch up with the crew.  

When they were about to be done with the hike, they gave me a call, and I went to go pick them up with at the Shook Branch Rec Area.  They were sitting on a picnic table that was right next to a beautiful lake.  

When they got into the truck, they quickly informed me that they were STARVING!  Though I had food back at Doe River ready to feed to them, we all opted to eat Chick-Fil-A for dinner instead.  

I know that so much happened that day on the trail…. hopefully Ryan will be able to take sometime to put all of the memories in writing.  Until then, know that the Thru Crew hikes on!  After nearly twenty miles of hiking, everyone hit the sack as soon as we were back to the hostel.  

Happy Trails – The Thru Crew

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