Miles: 22.5 Steps: 43,889 Elevation Gain: 3,407 feet An amazing but incredibly HOT day... I left super early knowing it was going to be a hot one. There was a Heat Advisory recommending “cancel or postpone outdoor physical activity”. That means hike 20 miles with a heavy pack, right? Done! Long road walk by AT standards out of town; over 2 miles or so. I crossed an insanely busy highway to get Subway on the way out of town. I love Subway because of all the veggies you can add at no extra price. Tasty tasty before my climb. Ran into Akuna, Dawn, and Mumbles as the trail entered the woods again and hung out for a bit. Ended up hiking on and off with them most of the day. It sure was hot. Over 90 and really humid too. I tried to drink tons of water, eat salty foods, and not push the pace too much. Really didn’t end up being so bad... Towards the end of the day I took a looong break, hung out with some hikers, called and wished my Mom a happy Birthday, and enjoyed relaxing. Eventually I got hiking again and unintentionally passed my original destination and arrived at a road. It was now near sunset and I needed to decide where to go. Luckily there were some nice campsites far enough from the road to feel safe by myself. I made a tough decision today: to leave my hiking companions Murph and Taylor. They’re great, and I’ve had a ton of fun hiking with them, but I need to do my own thing. Maybe we will end up hiking the same speed anyway, but I needed to break out and be independent. Ahh, so much fun to meet and hike with cool people, but everything eventually comes to an end too. I thought about this as I set up my tarp and got ready to go to bed.