Signing back in, now in the town of Franklin - just 10 miles off the trail. We've now passed the 100 mile mark (maybe 107?.... something like that).
The last four days have had more than their fair share of the bad weather part of hiking.
Saturday - Heavy rain. Tent and packs ended up in a puddle and had to be dragged to higher ground.
Sunday - Rain all day. Slept in the shelter. HARD rain throughout the night.
Monday - Rain for much of the day. Slept in the shelter. Good idea because we had two HARD downpours and one particularly loud thunderclap in the night.
Tuesday - Rain most of the day. Hard rain before coming in to camp. Shelter was too small to accomodate everyone there so we tented and it rained HARD all night.
I'm trying not to sound too sour, but four days of being wet will put most people in a slightly "damp" mood so we felt due for a day to dry out.
The great part about the last few days, though, has been the company. We've fallen in with a very fun group of people with a few coming and going all the time. Everyone experiencing the same joys and wet-ships, helping each other along, and laughing together at the end of the day.
Mostly we've hiked with a young couple and a good friend of theirs who are out for several months, like us, and (like us) taking their time and enjoying the hike. They have two dogs along with them which has brightened up camp life - especially for Em. Another couple out for two weeks with their dog has also joined our motley crew of sopping adventurers. As we've hiked we've run into many people going slower than us and many more going faster than us. One couple, a group of "Ultra Lighters" passed through camp one morning trying to AVERAGE 24 miles per day. A ridiculous number, but made easier by their ultra light packs (ultra light means wearing only tights, running shorts, and a T-Shirt and carrying a 15 pound pack!).
Yesterday we decided to take one of the "Cheater's Trails" - a side trail that cuts out some of the AT - and were treated to a wonderful walk down a cascading river. One of the hightlights so far (and made 'more cascading' by all of the recent rain).
Dry now, we are taking a day to rest and then hit the trail again. The weather reports are calling for thunderstorms every day for the next week but we have confidence that weather reporting is a tricky business!
Lots of Love,
-Matt + Em