10-22-09 day 142
start: Uncle Johnny's Nolichucky Hostel, TN/NC
end: Bald Mountain Shelter, TN/NC
daily mileage: 16.9
total mileage: 1855.3
We woke up at the hostel and decided that we could fit in a movie while we were packing up, so we put in Edward Scissorhands and enjoyed a lazy morning. Fiddler passed through and we hit the trail around 11:30, and hiked up and down rolling hills all day long. At lunch, we found a bottle of 92% isopropyl alcohol in the shelter, and decided to save some of our fuel by cooking with it. We've never used isopropyl before, but 92% seemed good enough to use and it was freely available, so we tried it. It burned great, and the food was soon ready... but it blackened the bottom of the pot with TONS of soot, which Sea Monster did not notice before he put it in his lap to eat out of. He got black soot all over his shorts and shirt... he was pretty frustrated, but I found it pretty amusing. In any case, we've learned why we always use denatured!
We got to a beautiful overlook called High Rock (pretty descriptive, a huge rock that juts over the tops of the trees on top of a mountain to provide a gorgeous view of the scenery around us) and considered cowboy camping on it, but decided against it due to impending rain that night and a lack of drinking water in the area. So we hiked the rest of the way into the shelter. We got in after dark because we'd screwed around during the day, and met up with Fiddler, Nexus, and two section hikers. They come out a week a year and are trying to get the whole AT done that way... wow! They had a nice fire going, and as we swapped stories and got to know each other Nexus mentioned that his mom was going to meet him tomorrow at Sam's Gap with Chik-Fil-A and had enough for all of us! AWESOME!!!!