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Thursday, May 7

Arrived today, two days ahead of schedule -- averaging 18 miles a day since leaving Pearisburg.

Trail anecdote:

A few days ago Karl started a long uphill hike with 2.5 liters of water, and soon gave away 1 liter of it to another hiker. Following several days of clouds and rain, the sun came out and started really heating things up. He ended up running out of water, hours short of a new supply. Pretty soon all he could do was fantasize about water, and was starting to feel quite weak. He resolved to drink any water he found, even if it was from a ditch.

After three dry hours, he came upon a cooler in the shade of a tree, filled with fruit and cold drinks. A sign read: "AT hikers, help yourself." He did so! He later met the source of the oasis, a trail hiker who lives in the area and puts the cooler out regularly.

Such acts of unexpected kindness and generosity are a tradition on the trail. The hikers call it Trail Magic (picture below).

Some recent pictures:

Peid Piper and Piper meet at hostel and make music (about 5/3)

In the early mornin' fog (about 5/3)

Karl next to the Keffer Oak between Pearisburg and Catawba (5/5)

Trail magic: Karl, Southpaw, and the blue cooler (5/6)

Note from Karl: I was really, really, really thirsty. I mean, really.

View from McAfee Knob (5/7)

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