First, his first state line crossing:
[From Gronk] 4/23 Betty Creek campground:
This is just a flatter spot on the side of a mountain but we're full up. Tents everywhere. Must be close to 20 people sharing a bit of ground. Mac and I got here first - don't know how - so we had first pick. I'm up on a slope and made my best hammock setup yet. It's the 7th one, so I must be getting better.
Today was a 10-something mile day. Some hard climbs but a lot of easy slopes too. Started out rocky and pebbly and for almost two hours, we were rock kickers. Hard to walk on that stuff. Then it turned to roots. Very technical. You didn't see the scenery because you were too busy watching each and every step so as not get tripped up. And then there was mud. Lots of seeps from the rocks making everything muddy. Rock hopping was the norm.
We're camped with 4 dogs. They keep barking and howling. It's 7:30 as I write this and I'm just waiting to crawl into the hammock. I'm facing west and the tarp is rigged in porch mode and I got to watch the sun go down. Nice.
There are no trees suitable for a bear hang but the dogs ought to keep them away.
Tomorrow, when you'll be reading this, we'll have our first rock scramble where it's so steep we need hands to get up, or so they say. There's a fire tower up top which is only 1/3 mile climb.
Nine miles to a gap tomorrow and then a ride to town for a zero day.
Going to be a noisy night. A fire is about to be lit and most of the people are twenty-somethings, so between dogs and way too loud talk, I might get some sleep. I don't know why people I've met are so loud at every shelter and campsite. Talk talk talk and loud loud loud. Look at me! This seems not to be a wilderness experience for them.
Now the view to the ground at the fire tower:
And the view out from the fire tower: