My clothes were even wetter this morning if that’s possible. Maybe from the mist. It did rain off and on last night but was finished when I got up this morning. I put off leaving, not wanting to get to the moment where I put my soaking wet clothes back on. That moment did come and it sucked.

I was hoping to dry out today but figured even without rain, I’d stay soaked from brushing up against all the wet vegetation crowding the trail. I was pleasantly surprised when that didn’t happen. Maybe the hiker leaving before me shook all the rain drops off.

My shirt was dry by my midmorning snack and my pants were dry by lunch. I got to the Moose River Recreation Area just at lunch, hoping for a picnic table and sunshine. I found a picnic table at an unoccupied campsite right away and the sun came out soon after. I laid some things out to dry while I ate and listened to a podcast.

Shortly after leaving the road, I entered the Blue Ridge Wilderness.  I still had some miles to do so I hadn’t hung out at lunch as long as I would have liked. I hadn’t taken my shoes and socks off during the break either since I figured there wouldn’t be enough time for them to dry in any measurable way, but after a few more miles, the wet wool socks were starting to bother me and I could tell one toenail was too long. I took a break in the middle of the trail to clip my toenails, clean my feet, and give them a breather.

Just after crossing a footbridge, I started to hear these loud rumbles that sounded like a plane, but closer and going on way too long. Shortly after, I heard a double boom that sounded like it was right next to me, followed by the roar. I wondered if it was a hunter so I got my phone out and started playing podcasts really loud to make my presence known.

When I got to the Stephens Pond Lean-to, it was to find another hiker from Quebec there. He’d heard the double boom too, from the lean-to, and also said it sounded like it was right next to him. We were probably 3 or 4 miles apart when it happened. Weird. I’ll ask what it could be at the campground tomorrow.

It was so nice to take my shoes and socks off after another 18.5-mile day, which I did right away and then slowly settled into the lean-to and cooked dinner. Pat then played some really great fingerpicking guitar music.