START: Log Cabin Drive 4 am
FINISH: Nolichucky River (Erwin, TN) midnight
53.2 miles 20:00 2.7 mph
Total miles in seven days: 342.8 48.9 mpd average
After a few hours of sleep, a groggy Mercury sets off in the darkness slapping herself a few times to stay awake. Right leg shin splint improving but left leg shin splint dictates that she will walk all day (instead of running) for the fourth straight day. She is joined after 28.6 miles by Tara of the Blue Ridge Hiking Company and they walk and chat the remaining 24.6 miles until midnight. No bear encounters today: the only nightlife excitement being when Mercury walked into a large spider web across the trail with a quarter-size spider right in the middle of it. Since her smartphone died, this was the only chance she had to get on the web the last few days.
Jupiter continues to supply Mercury with McD smoothies; however, he finally broke down and cooked for her (okay, so it was only chicken noodle soup).