Gotta love my sister and her hubby

Arrived at the awesome Nantahala Outdoor Center, the famous NOC in NC yesterday morning. Made great time descended the six miles. It wasn’t quite as bad as I had anticipated. No limping needed. It was so cool to step out of the woods onto the road and search for the next white blaze. I finally found it on the side of a building. The trail goes through a little complex which makes up and outfitter, general store and The River’s End restaurant, which has incredible hamburgers.

White blaze on the buidling

White blaze on the buidling

Wildlife has been scarce so far. I saw nothing in GA except a mouse and birds. Heard owls every night. Saw that baby bear in NC, a salamander and more mice. Yesterday I did see an owl. We had a staring contest. He won but only because he cheated. He rotated his head all the way around and back again. Freaky. I pictured “Chucky” and had to look away. Not fair.

My sister, Becky and her hubby, Pat picked us up at the NOC and drove us to Harrahs in Cherokee, NC for yet another zero. We will get to Katahdin eventually. Enjoying every moment we can. Harrahs is a casino and Gotta love my sis and her hubby. They got us a complimentary room for two nights.  Adjoining rooms to theirs so it’s like a huge suite.


Soon after arriving and a mini tour they went to the slots and Gilligan and I bathed. Separately of course. I took over Becky and Pats space. I filled the jacuzzi with hot water and bubbles and soaked. My fingernails and feet actually came clean.


A few days back Becky asked if I needed anything. My one reply was strawberries and a razor.


2 weeks on the trail left me looking a little too natural for my comfort. Using the little disposable razor I felt like a lumberjack clear cutting a forest with a hand saw. Then when I was finished it looked like someone sheared sheep in the tub. Oh, the things we take for granted in this world until we don’t have it any more, like running water and toiletries. We truly are blessed in this country to have the resources and freedoms to enjoy life. Remember to thank a veteran and or active military, they are a big part of those blessings. Thank you Gilligan/Andrew, Pete and Midnight for your service and sacrifices.

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.