We slept in and missed the pancake breakfast so we headed to the diner instead. A large, greasy diner breakfast is not the most comfortable thing to hike uphill out of town with, especially after not hiking for days. We were moving very slowly. We ended up hiking only 8.2 miles today, although I guess I shouldn’t count 1 mile of that since I counted it for my nero the other day. We backtracked when we moved from the river campsite back to Elmer’s.
We left town a little before noon and stopped after a few miles at a pond for lunch. Then we got up to the Rich Mountain Lookout Tower right before 5 and checked out the views. It’s the most structurally sound tower I’ve been in so far. Uncle Buck and Soul Sister were setting up camp nearby so we decided to join them. People kept coming in though until there are at least 15 here now. It’s the mass exodus from Hot Springs after the fest. We wanted to do more miles today but I’m happy with just making it out of town.
Wildlife sightings of the day: a tiny brown lizard and a deer running by (or Bigfoot, I only saw fur).
I went back up to the fire tower for sunset and am considering doing that for sunrise as well but I suspect it will be cold and it’s windy up here.