DAY 148 Leaving Augusta

September 7th 

My alarm  sounded at 7am  i silenced it then slowly walked to the shower. The  spray of warm water bringing me back to life.
I stayed under far too long making the most of my shower as it would be my last for 5 ish days  maybe longer..
I quickly dried and dressed then headed  for breakfast. 

Shredders meal looked so good yesterday, so I ordered the same. An omelette  with spinach, tomato, bacon ,mushroom and cheese   with hash browns and coffee. I was just about to order when hammer  appeared and joined me.  We were busy chatting when Shredder appeared and also joined  the table. The meals soon came and mine was so so good.
Once devoured I paid  and headed back to my room to finish packing. 

I filled my water bottles and I was  ready. I took back my key then returned to my room to grab my pack .
Okay my ride is at 10am  so walked up towards town and the pickup  point.
Frank was already here so told me to load my pack into the back of his truck

There were 5 of us heading back. Myself shredder, Google ,Cross creek and a new face.
As I’m waiting  Cash appears. Hi snail how did you get in front of me?
I’m never sure  as I seldom pass  anyone  so It had to be early in the morning as I do not hike late.
Okay we  are heading back, but Frank has some disturbing news .There is another fire up on the mountain  and  there is a possibility that the forest service may shut the road…..But we drive on anyway. 
About 5  miles in we see a hiker coming towards us.
It’s shotgun, Frank’s  stops  and she climbs into the back of the pickup
We soon arrive at the trail head and there is about 8 hikers waiting.
Kid, Hotsauce, the Aussies, Storytime, Napoleon,  and 2 girls that I haven’t seen before. We  grab our gear  and they put in their’s  then Frank’s  drives them away.  Shredder appears in a hurry and is soon out of sight.

I spend 5 minutes filming before heading off.
The trail starts in a nice wide open forest and it’s not long until I reach a large suspension bridge. 
As I cross the acrid smoke is beginning to get into my lungs, hopefully the wind will move it on .
I push on down the trail and soon come across “Cross-creek sat  on a log. I  wish her well and push on.
She will soon catch and pass me as she’s fast.
The trail  is wide and sandy my perfect trail and so I’m getting a good pace. The forest opens out into a large valley with bold hill’s  both sides covered in hundreds of black needles that were once bushy trees once
It looked really sad but appears to be recovering slowly.  I pushed on crossing numerous streams .
God this makes a change from last weeks dry section . I had refused  to look at the  profile on my app so was unaware of any climbs, I was just going to push on and as I started at 11am  I wasn’t expecting a huge mileage but 14 would be good. 

I was really enjoying today’s trail it was almost flat but I did worry I would have a large climb sometime today.
I came to another large suspension bridge, below it was a nice sandy beach, a good place for lunch I thought…but I kept going.
There was so much water on today’s section that when I stopped for a break  I drank a litre  that I was carrying. Why am I carrying it when there is so much.?!I don’t need to carry any until at least mile 14.
Due to the smoke or cloud it hadn’t been as hot as forecast (100*)  phew thank god. 
I had now switched to another audio book  this one was a romance but had a good story. Whilst listening I had zoned  out and was maintaining a good pace.
I suddenly became aware that cross-creek  hadn’t caught me as she is fast, so was a little worried . although people do all different things.
The afternoon was passing quickly and soon became early evening.  I stopped to check my app I was doing well  thanks to a flat trail and I had completed my target of 14 miles. There was a campsite with water in about 4ish miles which sounded a good spot to stop.
I crossed several more creeks and streams then after a climb the trail levelled out, okay  mot much further to go.
When I went around the next corner  I noticed a Google sat on a log..

GOOGLE

Have you seen Cross-creek ? he asked.
Yes  I said, it was just after she started I said.
She was sat on log. I was surprised  that she hadn’t passed me.
Google said that she hadn’t been feeling well, and that’s why he was waiting for her.
That was really good of him I thought.
Just ahead was another creek and the campground that I had been heading to.
Perfect ,I soon had my tent up and then took my cooking gear to a log ready to make dinner.
I had just sat down when Cross-creek appeared , she looked completely washed out. She put up here tent and crashed.
Google joined me on the log and cooked supper too.

We chatted a while before I headed off . Hung my bear bag then called it a night

Mileage 18.

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