Day 9 Feb 28 – Nantahala Outdoor Center – 35.33416, -83.59212 –

11 miles today. It was an excelent day for hiking; sunny, clear, and an unseasonable 70 degrees. I LOVED it.
The hike itself was pretty interesting. 6 miles of the standard PUDs started it off, but it was the last 5 miles that were tricky. They were 5 miles of trail along a ridge losing 3500 feet of elevation, so really steep. Kind of felt like hiking into the Grand Canyon on the Bouche or New Hance trails.

I got into the Nantahala Outdoor Center at about 1. I checked in, droppped my pack in my room and joined Alleycat and Juniper for a very good and GIGANTIC lunch. After that I picked up a titanium pot to replace my current alluminum one which is a little ungainley. I also picked up a new knife, fuel canister, and some Polar Pure (a different and more economical iodine solution than the tablets.

Alleycat, Juniper, and I hitched into town and did some grocery shopping and loged onto the web at the library. I swear Alleycat has magic thumb. We didn’t wait for more than 30 seconds at either the NOC or town before we had rides from great people. What color thumb would that be, since a gardener’s thumb is green. She’s just nuts at hitchiking it’s crazy.

When we got back Lizzie, a gal from the outfitter shop, was playing guitar for the rest of the hikers on the river overlook. It was a great couple hours. She’s really cool. She reminds me a lot of my sister, both in physical stature and personality.
I think I may come back here to the NOC for a job if I finnish the AT as early as I think I will. It would be a really cool summer and fall.

We’re gonna take a late morning and get out of here at about 10. I’m gonna send some stuff home and get a refill for my lighter as well as have breakfast with A, J, and Lizzie which we’ve been told is a meal not to miss here. We’ll see.

Well that’s pretty much everything.

Seth “Osprey” Schumacher

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