It was very cold this morning. I could see the sun hitting the tops of the trees but it took hours to reach down to the trail. I kept my warmer layers on until lunch, and my jacket on most of the day.
After lunch, I said goodbye to Clark Kent, who would finish his hike at the next road, and kept going. They say the last one to Canada wins. Well, I may have reached Canada already, but my hike is not yet over. At first I thought that I was the winner for being the last one out here, but when I thought about it more, I realized I am not. Even when I finish in two days, I know two or three women still out here plugging away at their own hikes. One of them started much later than everyone else, but the other two started around the same time as me.
Lava rocks showed up for the second half of the day and slowed me down considerably. In some stretches, there was a clear path cut through the rocks, but in others, the trail went right over them. I had planned to get to the South Brown Mountain Shelter to camp, but as it got later, I decided I had done enough miles today and did not feel like night hiking, and I also did not want to sleep with all the mice undoubtedly in the shelter.
I found a campsite just before dark at 23.8 miles for the day.