Kincora to Vandeventer Shelter
Miles Hiked: 17.6
AT Milage: 437.6
This morning Emma and I woke up at Kincora around 8am. Last night Bob offered to drive Emma and I to Watagua lake so we could slack pack 9miles southbound over Pond Mountain back to Kincora. He said after that he would drive us back to Watagua Lake and stop in town on the way to grab food so we could hike out to Vandeventer Shelter for the night. This was an extremely kind offer. Most of the time you have to pay for slack-packing but Bob just wanted us to have a great day on the trail!
We took Bob up on the offer. Before dropping us off at the trail head Bob offered to swing by Dunkin doughnuts. Emma really wanted to go so we did and we bought Bob coffee and a doughnut. As we hiked up Pond Mountain we were so thankful we did not have our full backpacks on. It was a tough mountain with no view at the top. One of the big long climbs you do just for fun on the AT. Later I learned from Bob that the AT originally was a three mile walk down the highway but now about 9 miles have been added when it was rerouted to go over Pond Mountain as a safer option. It was so weird hiking southbound and carrying almost nothing. We passed so many hikers going North today. One that stood out to me was this super young and nice girl named “Sunny-side up” who said Hi to us and asked if we were thru hiking. I thought her leg muscles looked huge like this was her third thru hike or something. At the bottom of pond mountain we came across laurel fork falls that were huge! We spent about an hour taking a break, enjoying the falls, and soaking our feet. We made it back to Kincora around 1:30pm. Bob then drove us back to Watagua Lake to continue hiking North. But first we made a quick stop to grab groceries and a subway sandwich. Emma and I were glad because we were so hungry and didn’t have enough food to keep hiking without resupplying.
Once Bob dropped us off, Emma and I walked to the beach area of the lake and out our subway sandwiches. I was so happy and full for once. We started hiking again and it was super hot. The temperature was in the 80s. We saw so many snakes today. I got great videos of some which are on my Instagram. I couldn’t believe how many snakes were out. Quarter-way to the shelter we hit the Watuga Lake Dam where we took a long break to enjoy the view. I am having such a great time with my sister hiking with me! We are always laughing at something stupid that we do together. I’m so glad I’m getting to spend all of this quality time with her doing something we will never forget. I thought about how long it’s been since we have lived together and it’s been 3 years!
We finally made it to the shelter at 8:50 right before it got completely dark. There were three other hikers there who we talked with and sat around a fire. I slept in the shelter with a thru hiker name turtle and Emma slept in her tent. I went to sign our names in the log book and saw that Sunny side up had already passed by. She wrote that her and another hiker were trying to do a 57 mile day to Damascus, VA (the next town). This is crazy! By the looks of her legs earlier I fully believe she can do it. I hope Emma and I can catch up to her because I want to hear about it. Emma and I were thinking about trying to slackpack 42 miles into Damascus but didn’t think we could physically make it. We thought we would have to hike 24 hours! I can’t wait to hear this girls experience if we ever meet her again.