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3/31/18 Day 251 AT Day 11: Trail Magic four times and a hard 25 mile day!!!

Miles: 25.5 Steps: 56,187 Elevation Gain: 6,783 feet Faith in Humanity: Thanks so much for all the Trail magic today! Overwhelming! Wow, what a day! I got a late start and managed my longest and hardest day of the trail so far! First an older couple was handing out Easter goodie bags complete with a hard boiled egg, chocolate covered pretzels, mini candy bars, and clementines. Awesome, thank you! Next, at Tellico Gap there were two people with Trail magic! One had another Easter goodie bag with similar items (thank you, you’re awesome!). The other was a group of 3 ladies and they had free hot dogs, soda, bananas and candy! So awesome, thank you very much! I flew up the mountain powered by coke and climbed the fire tower for some outstanding views! Oh today was the first sunny, beautiful day of the whole trail and that was awesome! Next up was a great ridge walk with awesome views followed by a knee crushing descent. On the way down I ran into an older gentleman, “Special Ed” and I asked how he was doing. He said not good and that he fell 15 feet off the side of the trail and his back was messed up and he couldn’t hike any longer! I kept him calm, went over some options with him and gave him all of my water. I waited while he called 911. I couldn’t carry his pack, so he was going to wait for search and rescue to come. I left after a bit as he didn’t seem like he was going into shock and was more who bruised than anything. Bummer, Ed, hope things work out and your back is ok! The downhill finally ended at a river and the Nantahala outdoor Center (NOC). This is a huge rafting operation. Ok the way down I kind of told myself that I’d really prefer to either eat there or spend the night there, not both. I inquired about bunk space which was $27, but opted instead for the restaurant. Oh, forgot to mention my 4th Trail Magic was tight before the NOC: a bag of apples! I got an enormous pizza and ate too much before grabbing my pack and hitting the trail with a pizza box strapped to the back. The trail was very steep for a very long time. I felt kind of sick a bit on the way up, stomach problems and nausea, not good. I was pretty determined to make it to the shelter and socialize. I made it just as the sun set! I was excited that I waited as there was quite the commotion at the shelter. I love the socializing! So fun!!! There were so many tents set up everywhere but only 2 other people in the huge shelter so I opted to sleep in it. Because I received Trail magic 4 times I decided to give my pizza out as Trail magic as my was of giving back. 3 people graciously devoured the slices! It was great to sit around the fire and chat with all hikers I’ve never met before. Great people! I chatted with a girl (forgot her name, that sucks!) LeAnne maybe? from Norway and the US and she was fun to chat with. She thought I was a bit crazy for the trip I’ve been on and how today is day 251! Haha, good times! Still feeling a little something in my stomach, hopeful all I need is some sleep! Onward tomorrow!

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