Journal 87-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Monday–May 17, 2021
Trail Day–087
Trail Mile–12.7/825.1
Location–Upper Laurel Fork, then to Scotty’s Five-Dollar Piano Bar Hostel (Closed), AT Mile 408.0

I was glad to be back at Mountain Harbour B&B (Hostel) again, my second stay, this time upstairs in the bunk room.

And oh yes, I’d signed up for breakfast again, the right thing!

Not stirring as early this morning, but there’s plenty of time to pack, then head up to the house for breakfast. A bit of restraint this morning–proud not to have stuffed myself! Thanks Mary, I’ve had a great stay here with you, David, Shannon, Chains & Ziggy!

A short roadwalk back to the trail, then a gentle climb to the open meadows for s trip back in time–with old home sites, orchard remnants, and a family cemetery. Where once there was much activity; now exists a peaceful, silent calm. The remainder of the day is spent on sidehill trail through rhododendron and laurel hells (known as the green tunnel).

I pass the 400-mile mark on the AT today. And there’s one more short jog (200 yards) into and out of North Carolina where the trail hits Elk River.

At AT mile 408, Upper Laurel Fork, I turn to follow a faint trail up Laurel Fork to Scotty’s Hostel (now closed). Scotty is a dear friend of many years. He was one of the first to hike the Eastern Continental Trail. We hiked many-a-mile together years ago. Scotty is in poor health now. So, for his hostel being closed. But he’s opened the bunkhouse for me. So good to be back here again. I arrive a little after four and get settled in. A fine evening.



There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity,
a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. 
It rises up in wordless gentleness,
and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.
(Thomas Merton)

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