Loft Mountain Campground (888.7)
Shelter begins emptying at 5:30, wake up at 5:50. Slow going to start, pack, head back to spring to hydrate, fill water bottles, and eat. On trail at 6:50.
Making good time. Overcast and cool, which gradually gives way to blue skies, humidity, and warmth. As happens quite often, shirt is soaked through with sweat and sticks to body.
Start noticing about eight miles out stomach is upset, and getting general cramping in intestines. Forces me to slow down. Norovirus? Bad food or water? What is it.
Half a mile before our first target shelter wait for Gabe, hoping he has an opinion. He goes through the checklist and it's probably a combination of not enough water and hiking hard. I adjust accordingly and it dissipates.
We have lunch at the shelter and agree to do another six miles to one of the National Park Services campsites.
Find cell service and call Achin to give him an update. He's been following the journal so is up to date. He's still planning on getting on Trail this fall.
Arrive at campground, lots of campsites, choose one as a thunder storm threatens. Some light food shopping at the Camp Store, planning for the next few days hikes, and turn in to our respective tents at 7:30.