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5/1/18 Day 282 AT Day 42: Saw a bear! Sunshine!  And a great store with tasty food!

Miles: 23.5 Steps: 47,342 Elevation Gain: 5,207 feet Faith in Humanity: Great campfire conversation, super friendly store owners and workers, beautiful sunny day, how does it get better? This is a late spring! I mean: very late. Almost all the trees at any elevation but the valley bottoms has barely budded. There’s progress though! And it’s amazing how fast it’s occurring. Just in the past few days it went from not seeing any green at all to seeing quite a bit. Amazing how fast nature works! I was on the trail at an early 6:30 start time. The trail followed a beautiful ridge up and down quite steeply. Large rocks dominated the crest of the ridge. First I saw a few deer, then a bear! All animals just kind of ran away when they heard me, but it was really cool! So much sunshine! With no leaves, it’s so bright! Warm too! High near 80 today. I flew down the trail in the cool morning air, really feeling good today! I did 18 miles to a store and arrived before 1pm. I was lagging towards the end but then Gunther passed me with only 3 miles to go or so, and he was going so fast! I decided I was feeling good and it’d be good to push myself a little to build fitness. I stayed right with him to the top and we were both feeling good! We arrived at the store and ate tons of food (they sold deep fried Oreos 4 for $3 and they were amazing!, never had them before!) I hung out at the store for literally 4 hours! Good times! I then hiked out about 2 miles to the shelter where there's probably 20 peeps camped. Awesome times!

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