I think I woke up between 7 and 8, but clearly Owl and Phoenix clearly got up well before me because by the time I was only half packed up and collecting more water from that barely trickling spring, Phoenix appeared sitting there doing the same.
And yet, when I finished collecting and packing up, I still managed to hike out ahead of both of them.
They caught up to me as I was finishing lunch on a log near a road. Unknowingly, I had let a dead tree sap all over my shorts again. But Owl and Phoenix were looking to stop there to eat themselves and I was ready to hike out.
I was aiming to reach the South Brown Mountain Shelter, another 10 miles away. And reach it I did, just a bit after dark. It was a tiny little log cabin with plastic flaps for a door, shelf space to sleep two, a stove I didn’t feel like lighting, a ton of cut firewood, and a curious bit unobtrusive mouse resident. I set up on a shelf in the corner, and, while sitting on my mattress, put on more layers, cooked, ate, brushed my teeth, etc. I only needed to get up to hang my bag from the rafters.
Total distance: 22 miles