I pushed through 19.5 miles (on trail, not counting the extras!) to get down into the NOC today! I started the morning by saying goodbye to Trauma Kit as he has to go back to work Monday 😦 The views from Wayah Bald this morning were awesome and we could actually see the Albert Mountain Fire Tower from there! Dingo and I pressed on for trail magic at Burningtown Gap from Grits (NOBO 09). I had a lot of uphill today, crossin several balds. This was also the first day I truly had to hike in the rain! It rained off and on all day, making the trail muddy and slick. When I got to A Rufus Morgan, Ryan told me thru hikers can camp at the NOC for free, so I took advantage of that, eating food and scoring free brownies from the hiker box (this is where hikers can take or leave things they no longer want, usually food, but sometimes extra bear line or luxury items, like shampoo, etc.) Now it’s raining again and I’m hunkered down in my tent, thinking of the huge climb tomorrow! I can’t believe I’ll be in my own bed in two nights!