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3/22/21 Spent a great night camping down by the river at NOC. Got up late dried things out. At NOC charged electrical devices. Bought a Diet Coke haven’t had one in a long time some ice cream made some phone calls. Lots of thru hikers and people taking white water rafting trips and kayaking. Began hiking around 1:00 PM with steady beautiful climb from 1,732 feet up to 4,710 feet incredible views of the Nantahala Gorge. Didn’t see any hikers until the top and the Sassafras Gap Shelter was busy so camped just below it. Hot in the valley temps maybe in the 70’s but once getting to campsite it cooled down a lot changed into dry warm clothes. Piper sleeping in tent no issues now. Currently at mile 143.8. Only 22.1 miles from Fontana Dam where I will meet Michele leaving Piper because no dogs allowed in the Smokies.Have over 4 days just to get there so it will be easy. Wish she could meet me sooner. Plan is for her to pick Piper up and I will hike fast thru the 71.6 miles so I can spend time with her before she flies back to NH.