We ran into two SOBO's (southbound hikers). The one this morning said he started the trail in July (which is late and not too common), his Trail Family's name is "Take off your pants or get out"---I would love to know how that name resonated.
Aviator and I got to camp only to find a group of boy scouts. It turned out not to be a problem. Aviator and I practiced setting up my hammock and rain fly, we fixed our spots in the shelter, prepared and ate dinner, used bear bags and put up our food. I loved every second of it. Aviator has two stoves, a pocket rocket (which I used) and a jetboil- before last night the whole portable stove/cooking process was extremely foreign to me, now I am stoked to get a stove of my own and see what types of freeze dried or dehydrated food are out there. For dinner I ate freeze dried chicken and rice, where you boil the water and pour it straight into the bag. For breakfast this morning, I made instant oatmeal (my go to everyday in the real world too) and instant coffee. I want to make it a priority of mine to eat as many vegetables as I can while on the AT, I understand that a lot of camping food options and hikers' diets are not the most nutritious.
"9 o'clock is hikers midnight" so we went to bed relatively early... I however was having a hard to getting to sleep because it just so happened to be below 30 degrees and couldn't shake the chill. I look forward to trying my hammock out and seeing if that sleep is easier on my joints and with my z-pad curved to my body it would help with the warmth.
Waking up with the sun this morning was a gift. With fall, all the trees are yellow, orange, and red-- forming a rich, full canopy that glitters when the sun shines through, I loved sitting by the fire this morning, hearing Aviators stories, drinking coffee, and slowly feeling my heart filling with warmth and peace in knowing that, that was exactly where I needed to be.