Miles Today: 16.8 + 0.40 to the grocery store
Mile Marker: 685.6 702.4
I woke up feeling refreshed with my ankle about 90%. Apparently a 14 hour nap on level ground was all I really needed. I took my time getting started, but quickly fell back into rhythm. A few miles in I bumped into C-Biscuit who was very happy to see me. Apparently he's been hiking for three days without seeing another thru hiker. He saw a few Southbound day hikers, but was starting to feel like he was all alone. There is a pack of about ten hikers just a day ahead of us, but it is really weird there had been no one behind him. It is definitely starting to thin out from where we started in Georgia a couple of months ago. He was already four or five miles in by the time he saw me, so we wouldn't see each other again for the rest of the day.
We chatted for a bit, and then I headed on. My goal today was the Catawba Grocery store for a resupply and a pizza. I ended up making it there by 6:00. Turns out the pizza is $9.99 and all toppings are free. I got every topping but pepperoni (eat that on trail). So good.
I was hanging out front charging my phone, as hiker trash does, when Craig showed up. He asked if I'd checked out the hostel down the road. I had seen it in the guide, but I was planning on hiking back into the woods. He said it was a great place to hang out and everyone was there. As a bonus he was being shuttled there; I hopped in the van and headed back. Cool place with loads of hikers I thought were ahead of me. Plus a super friendly cat. Definitely the right choice.