--> Pass Mountain Hut, 23.6 miles
The sun doesn't come up early anymore so I didn't get up until 6:30. I was on the trail by 7:15 and quickly got to the SNP permit station. I filled it out and was on my way. There was a lot of up and down today, but a lot of the ups had views at the end. The trail also crosses Skyline Drive a lot, and parallels the road a bunch. I got to the Elkwallow Wayside around 2 and got a burger and fries for a second lunch. They didn't fill me up as much as I thought they would. A ranger gave a short talk on bears. The rest of the trail wasn't hard. At the top of the last hill I took a break, and a 6-point buck came out of the woods. We stared at each other, then he went on eating. The Vacationers are here at the shelter, an older couple who are doing their very last section, and another guy, Sunny Days, who thrued in 1986 and now goes around and does trail magic.