Saturday, June 9, 2001

day 28, Watauga Lake S, TN

Start:  Moreland Gap Shelter
End:  Watauga Lake Shelter
Miles:  16.4 today, 414.2 total

I left Laura at the Moreland Gap Shelter this morning.  She was complaining about her knees.  She caught up with me later, though, at the Laurel Creek Lodge.  It's a campground / hostel; pretty nice, too.  When I got there Mission Man and D-Con were leaving to do more slackpacking.  Basically they're slacking the whole way from Erwin to Damascus.  Also saw Q-tip and Big Toe.  Q-tip said there was some free extra restaurant-type food in the hiker kitchen, so I went in there and ate for about an hour.  Ribs, bread, and these little spinach triangle things.  It was great.  Then Laura came by with a stray dog that was hanging around Moreland Gap Shelter.  Apparently there's a lot of stray dogs in the area.

So then I left the Lodge after my free lunch and about $2.50 in extra food for the trail.  Laura said she was going to stay the night there and just meet up with me in Damascus.

On my hike I made a couple stops.  One at Laurel Falls, a pretty nice waterfall.  And then another at a rope swing by Watauga Lake.  Some teenage guys were swinging out and falling in the lake.  They said I should try it, and I needed a bath, so I took off my shoes & shirt and jumped in.  It was pretty cool.  Tonight I'm with Q-tip, Q-tip's girlfriend, Big Toe, and three others.  Broke 400 today!

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