Day 34: Pickle Branch Shelter to 4 Pine Hostel (6.0 miles)
Updated: May 10, 2019
June 15, 2004 - Had a good time hanging out with the high schoolers last night. They are a church group from North Carolina. They are heading to the hostel that is 6 miles down the trail. I decided to see how my ankle feels and hike to the hostel and stay the day. I knew I had a hard climb and descent coming up over Dragon’s Tooth. I was told that it has some very narrow walkways and has handrails. I started out and my ankle didn’t feel too bad, but after about 2 miles it started to hurt. I finally made it to the top, very slowly. It was supposed to be a nice view from the top of Dragon’s Tooth. I started to head over towards the blue blaze trail (blue blaze is a side trail of the AT). I took a few steps and looked south and the clouds were black. I didn’t want to be going down the mountain on wet dangerous rocks, so I skipped the great view (I heard from other hikers that I missed out), but I’ll be coming up on McAfee Knob which is one of the best spots on the AT. I made it to the hostel with my ankle still hurting so I decided it was time to take a day off the trail. I’m way ahead of schedule and thought it would be smart to let my ankle heal completely. I’ll leave sometime tomorrow afternoon or the next morning. It’s a lot of fun coming to a hostel and meet lots of people. There are 30 people in here tonight. The hostel is an old garage with mattresses on the floor. Only about 10 were thru hikers, 10 were boy scouts, and 10 where the church group. The church group is really nice with sharing their food. The best thing about a hostel like this is it’s free. The bad thing is there are lots of bugs around. We’ll see how my ankle feels tomorrow. I would like to get moving.