Nathan reads Lloyd Alexander with his hot cocoa at camp. Dad ponders some mountains in the morning. In the afternoon, we come across a birthday party thrown for a former thru-hiker and Appalachian Trail Conservancy Ridge Runner: Hopeful. Every year since his thru-hike, he’s had his birthday party at a trail crossing, his whole family comes and cooks and invites all the hikers who pass by, feeding them all. At Hopeful’s birthday party, we met yet another hiking family (trailname: Farmer Chef), with two kids and dog, section hiking the whole trail over three years. Tucking in for the night.