I just got back from a day hike at Blood Mountain in Georgia and a three day backpacking trip into Damascus. I hiked from US 321 near Watauga Dam and arrived at Damascus late on Friday. The third day I hiked 20 miles because I did not want to miss too much of the Trail Day festivities. About a mile from Damascus, I could hear the music and smell the various foods cooking. I did not have much time to enjoy the activities on Friday because after 20 miles I was ready to do nothing but sleep. Saturday was another story. I met some of the hikers I had met on the three day trip I did with other FT members last month when we did Springer to Woody Gap the first week of April. It seems that most of the hikers I had met last month were still on the trail. The Trail Day festivities were unbelievable. The parade was a blast and I laughed till I cried during the talent show. I did not get to see who the winner was because I ran to get a seat at Earl Shaffer's AT slide show. It was great to see his pictures of the AT as it was when Earl first hiked it fifty years ago and to hear his comments about the changes made to the trail. The slide show alone made the trip to Damascus worthwhile.
I did see Solar Bear off in the distance I believe during the talent show. I could not get through the crowd to introduce myself. Maybe next year at Damascus.......
For those members who did the hike last month: Wild Turkey was at Trial Days and informed me that Wack'n'pack, Planting Flowers, and even Laverna (spelling?) were still hiking. Planting Flowers met another hiker and got married at Gatlinburg so is no longer hiking with Wack'n'pack.