At the lower elevation just out of Erwin, TN, everything was so green! It’s amazing how fast things can change and how many types of terrain you can see in one day!
My backpack was heavy. I was carrying 5 1/3 days worth of food. It makes everything harder with a heavy pack, especially going uphill, and I had several long climbs on this day. I passed Peter Pan Squash Head. When I screwed up my face when he told me his name, He said he would tell me later….😳…but he did say a group of people were going to watch the sunset up on the bald (called ‘Beauty Spot) and invited me to camp with them just beyond it and watch it with them. I thought that was nice. He was slack packing going the opposite direction but said his tent and some hammocks were there.
The campsite he mentioned was the place I had planned on staying. It was just over ‘Beauty Spot’. Though it’s on my bucket list to camp on a bald and watch a sunset, I knew that there was no way I would be able to stay up late enough to see the sunset since I’d hardly gotten any sleep on the bus.
At the campsite, I met Prime (Amazon Prime), Walkman, Blueberry and her dog Sadie. They are part of a trail family. I sat with them while I ate my early supper. They were very friendly. I was so tired, I’m afraid I wasn’t much company, but it meant a lot to me that they reached out to me. I had been feeling sort of lost since all of the faces I knew since the beginning of my hike moved on while I was at home, and were now well ahead of me.
About the time I was heading to my tent for the night, a couple of guys drove up (yes, I camped by a dirt road that went to the Beauty Spotlight parking lot.) They both had a beer in hand and started making a campfire. They might have had a party that night, but I was so tired I didn’t even hear it! I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow!
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning in a confused stupor and it looked like a light was shining in my tent! A white light, not a red light. I could see everything clearly in my tent. I probably could have put my contacts in, it was so bright. I decided that there must have been a street lamp by the road. When I woke up several hours later, the light was dimmer and coming from a different direction. I finally figured out that it was the moon!
When I woke up to the birds singing, the party boys’ truck was still there ( I think they were sleeping in the bed of the truck) and there were multiple people cowboy camping on the ground when I went to retrieve my food bag from the tree.
I never did see Peter Pan Squash Head again, and I guess I’ll never know the mystery of how he got his name. He was wearing a Peter Pan or Robin Hood hat, but I don’t get the Squash Head part.
I ate my breakfast, packed up my tent, and hit the trail.