March 31 Springer Mt to Justus Creek (14.3 miles).
Hiked first mile with Kris, Brooke and Kerri.
Lower elevations (below 3000 ft) was like walking thru a forest of rhododendrons. Not flowering yet but sure spectacular when they do.
Had a snack and break at Long Creek Falls. Very cool.
6.2 miles in I ran into my first “Trail magic”. A group of local people had table with drinks and snacks. As I had just eaten something 1/2 hr before I just enjoyed a Coke and a chair (which felt great).
There are a lot of places to stealth camp (not in designated spots). Some look to me like high odds of sharing with bears!
Arrived at Justus Creek about 5:15. This was my optimistic ending point for day. Didn’t know if I was going to make it there as supposed to cross dirt road 1 mile from Creek/campsite. Didn’t see that road but saw a place by a Creek that looked campable. Just set my pack down and a hiker came down from campsite to get water. This was Justus Creek thankfully.
Got tent set up, had some deer jerky and in bed by 6:30. Physically feeling good. No blisters yet.