There was a seven mile road walk into town this morning, about half dirt and half paved. There were so many blackberries along the roads that I don’t know how I even made it to town, I kept stopping so much. My hands were stained purple.

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I picked up a package from my friend Kelly at the store first and it was delicious: cake truffles from Shari’s Berries. So tasty! Thanks,Kel! I only ate a few to start since there was also a cafe that I wanted to eat breakfast at. I also should have had a package from my family but it hadn’t been delivered yesterday and the post office didn’t open until noon today so I had to wait.

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Breakfast was delicious and filling, and I loitered until it was time for the post office to open. They had my package and I opened it to find lots of goodies, including homemade cookies! I shared some with the other hikers around and then packed the rest up to bring on the trail. Thanks, family!

Some of us decided to take an alternate route out of town to hit up a local swimming hole. We continued road walking, with even more blackberries, and the road turned into gravel. We also stopped by the trail angel’s house that I had heard about in Etna, but he wasn’t home. We left a note and kept going.

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We found the swimming hole and I tried to get in but the water was pretty cold. I cleaned the dust off my lower legs and called it a day. We kept going back up the road to connect with the trail at Cook and Green Pass and camp there, passing Horsetail Falls on the way.

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I ended up hiking about 20 miles today. The alternate was slightly shorter than the trail.

Written by Siren

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