11-2-09 day 153
start: Siler's Bald Shelter, GSMNP
end: Mollie's Ridge Shelter, GSMNP
daily mileage: 17.2
total mileage: 2003.3!!!!
Our new pilot friends seemed to be in good spirits this morning although their original plan of 15 miles or whatever turned to a discussion of whether or not it would be too much trouble to walk the 5 miles back to Clingman's Dome to their car...
All and all the morning was fairley uneventful but today was still a red letter day because...we crossed 2000 miles! Now that we are 2000 thousand milers we can get the patch from the ATC and go home, just kidding. We hit the the 2k mark just north of Russel Field Shelter, and for me anyway, the occasion was marked by seeing a huge black bear off in a Rhododendron thicket. I was starting to wonder whether we'd see any bears in the park but there it was.
Later on at Mollie's Ridge we met a lady out for a week with her 9y/o daughter. The girl was...very excitable, to put it mildly. We also met Snail Mail who was out from the Fontana Dam Shelter spreading the word to hikers about the "Feed" going on down there. Two guys are cooking breakfast and dinner for hikers. Unfortunately we aren't going to hit it around dinner time so hopefully they'll be around during lunch...