We woke up this Morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with our old trail friends (and our new trail friends). Two of our new trail friends had packs from the same Biddeford, ME company that custom made Cartwheel’s pack (Hyperlite Mountain Gear). Cartwheel took a picture with her new pack buddies (Ethan and Yeti Legs). Ethan is carrying his guitar the whole way and having everyone he meets sign their trailnames on it. Then we hiked all morning with our old trail buddies and their kids (the Rivers family). The boys were hiking ahead and I overheard snippets of the kinds of conversation unique to fourth grade boys:
Boy 1: Drinking other people’s pee will make you really sick. Drinking your own pee is ok, but you can’t drink other people’s.
Boy 2: I don’t think that’s true. Drinking someone else’s pee isn’t any different than drinking your own pee. I don’t think it would make you sick.
[much arguing ensues]
Boy 1: Fine, when we get there, I’m going to pee into a cup and you’re going to drink it.
Boy 2: NO WAY!
Boy 1: See, I’m right; that proves it.
At this point they notice my eves-dropping and query my sage paternal wisdom. All I could add: “Well, if you’re at the point where you’re considering drinking someone else’s pee, it sounds like urine trouble, whether or not you get sick.”
We got to the gap had a delicious lunch (also catered by the Rivers). We said our sad farewells to our old trail friends (and our kids’ new best buddies) and made plans to meet up again later on.
The afternoon brought some spectacular Smokey Mountain views (including this one from Charlie’s Bunion), and a rare opportunity to tent along the trail (in GSMNP there are designated camping sites and designated shelter sites; you can’t camp anywhere else, and you can’t tent at a shelter site; it’s mostly shelter sites that are near the AT, but if the Shelters are full, the regulations permit thru-hikers to tent nearby).
Days don’t get much better than this.