Day 25...Trail Angel

I woke up to the sound of what I though was a steady downpour, packed up all my gear in the shelter, and went out to grab my bear bag from the tree where it was hanging.  I then realized it wasn't really raining at all, just a slight sprinkle. The tin roof of the shelter made it sound 10 times worse then it actually was.

It was rainy and cloudy the entire day.  Around 2 pm, I hiked to Down Mountain Shelter, where I filled up water and stopped to talk for the first time today. The people were very nice.  Our discussions mostly centered on the weather, and I then carried on my way.  When I arrived at the gap where I was to meet David, I recieved a message that he was still 3 hours away.  As I had just begin to wait, a hiker name Half Full, came over and asked me I if I would like an adult beverage.  I said no thanks, that I was only 17.   He asked me if I wanted a ride into town. I told him my situation and he said there was a town about 45 min down the road and that David and his Dad would have to drive through the town to get to Carvers Gap, where we were. So I agreed, and we headed off. 

We drove to the town Spruce Pine, where we went to a little pizza place called The Boonies. Half Full bought me a large pepperoni pizza, and himself a large mushroom pizza. We ordered them to go because it was 3 bucks cheaper. We took our pizzas over to the closed down Walmart, where they had a couple of picnic benches, and an outlet so I could charge my phone. 

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As we ate we talked. He told me about how he worked at Mount Mitchell State Park in maintenance.  He shared his plans to hike the trail, but he had messed up his ankle badly.  He said he is still plans on hiking all of it.  I told him I was in Boy Scouts, and he mentioned how he has many times needed to help scouts on the trail who were lost or needed assistance and that it was good to meet a Scout who knew what he was doing.  We probably talked for a good 2 1/2 hours or so before he left to drive back.  I thanked him for his generosity. This was my first time encountering a Trail Angel, those folks who do what they can, including offering rides to help hikers on the AT.

David and his dad drove up about 7:00 pm.  I put my pack in his car and we were off. By the time we got back to the gap, it was around 7:50ish, cloudy and foggy. After a couple photos and goodbye, David and I were off. We only hiked about 15 minutes before we found a camp site and set up camp and went to bed. 

Miles: 19.2

Location: Latitude: 36.10745, Longitude: -82.10471