12.9 Miles, May 28, Tenting behind Catawba General Store Rain/Sun/on/off
Again, great day today. Really, today was one of the most enjoyable days out here for sure. Bear Behind and I slack-packed (again, “freedom hiked”, meaning we had our packs, but they were only filled with what food and water we needed for the day, and cameras, while our tents and gear were left at the general store) 13 miles today. We got a ride south to the beginning of the section we skipped yesterday and had a great (and easier) hike back to where we left our stuff. We passed over Dragon’s Tooth, a rocky outcropping with spectacular views of cloudy mountains and valleys. We got numerous good photos.
I can’t express enough how fun it is to have great conversations while you hike. Bear Behind and I hiked and talked all day, about everything. There are all kinds of interesting people out here and he’s no exception. At 52, he teaches high school drop outs carpentry in a program that eventually gets his students in to the carpentry union, where they make more money than many of their inner-city peers. He’s changing careers though. He has an interest in biology and has been working evenings and weekends at a college lab, where he’ll work full time when he finishes the trail. Anyway, today was awesome, and it had a lot to do with the company.