I checked out of the motel and headed to breakfast at Hardees. The same group of older men was there again this morning. I think they meet there every morning. I enjoyed talking with them while I ate.
I walked the 0.8 miles out of town and then started hiking. There was a nice climb to warm up my legs. At the top was Angel’s Rest which was very pretty.
It rained most of the morning so no real views but hiking along the ridge was very pleasant. I only saw 2 other hikers all day long and they were on the ridge. I hiked through a lot of rhododendron tunnels in the afternoon. There were a few blooms but this section would have been totally awesome about a month ago when they were in full bloom.
Late afternoon I used my GPS trail app to see where I might camp. I noticed there was a forest service road running parallel to the trail about 0.2 miles away and that there was a NFS campground on the road. I’m not sure why but I decided I wanted to check it out but I did. So I used the GPS to guide me off trail until I found the road and the campground.
I arrived at the same time as three women in their 20’s. Meg and Sadie are sisters and Kit is Sadie’s old college roommate. They invited me to join them for dinner and campfire chat. We sat around the fire talking and laughing until almost midnight. It was such a fun time. Again, I don’t know why I even thought to get off trail and go there but I’m so glad I did.