Predawn breakfast in bed ...
After three hiking days, I'm at Wesser Bald, and heading into Nantahala Outdoor Center for a minor resupply, a hot shower and a warm bunk.
I've been hiking through the Nantahala Forest in North Carolina. The AT has taken me over several balds - Mountain summits that tho are not truly above the treeline in the sense that they aren't an alpine environment, they are grassy mountain tops with 360 degree views.
Weather has been outstanding. Got a little sunburn yesterday. Been plenty warm at night ... There's thunderstorms in the forecast for Thursday, so I might hole up in a shelter if it's bad.
Been averaging 8.4 miles per day, which is right on target with, my planned slow start. A few aches and pains, but nothing to fret about.
Been camping with a group that has similar pace. Crocatopia and Camel thru hiked last year and are hiking into Damascus, VA for Trail Days. Turtle and Blackjack are on their northbound thrus.
After the NOC, three or four more days and I'll be ready to hike into the Smokies.
Wikipedia article on Balds: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_balds