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Today was another great day. After the 20-mile push and a late arrival last night we all woke up pretty late this morning. Ambush, MP, and Blue Kazoo all showed up to the shelter before we'd left. One member of our group was really upset that we'd pushed on last night and we thought it was ridiculous. They had no reason to be upset but we knew it was because they wanted to have some sort of control over the group, where we stayed, etc. All of us were adults and here to be free, not to be told what to do.
We hiked on to Sam's Gap. When we arrived, Samwise, Blue, Snacktime, and myself got a ride from a trail runner to the Little Laurel Cafe and had a huge lunch. It was delicious and a nice break. Once back on trail we had a grueling climb up to a beautiful bald mountain. It was so hot out and I was feeling completely exhausted the whole time and kept stopping along the way. We arrived at a shelter midday and I confronted the member of our group who was upset earlier. I was nervous to do it but this whole experience for me is about growing and being uncomfortable so I felt it was right do do it. We talked things out and everything seems resolved.
We kept hiking past that and we made it to a gap with a stream and decided to stay there rather than push on to the next shelter. Once we'd setup camp, Peanut, Samwise, Life, and Kazoo pushed onto the next shelter. I was having a bit of FOMO about not joining them but I knew I'd see them in Erwin. Despite that, we had a nice fire by the creek and shared dinner. It actually ended up being really nice just having us three hanging out tonight. I'm feeling so thankful to be out here tonight and I really hope that all of us stay in touch after the trail. I've never felt so happy, so free, and like a kid as I do now. This hike is everything and more than I'd hope for.