“Legendary” and “Best” are terms that are often overused, not only on the trail, but in marketing in general. But I can safely say that the breakfast at Mountain Harbor B&B is not only the best breakfast on the trail, but perhaps the best breakfast I have had anywhere (and I have had breakfast at many 5 Star resorts). Not only was it plentiful, but it was meticulously prepared with quality ingredients. The reputation that this breakfast has earned is the main reason that I decided to stay here, and the reputation is well deserved.
At breakfast, I shared a table with Momma Bear and Little Foot. One of the breakfast items was brownies with Easter Peeps on top. Little Foot looked closely at the Peep, pointed at its eyes, and said, “Momma, are those ticks?” After we finished laughing, we praised him for checking. He is becoming quite the little thru-hiker.
The climb out from US 19 E was surprisingly easy and the trail went through a beautiful meadow. Spring is trying its best to breakout in the lower elevations, and there are small flowers everywhere that are dotting the hillsides. I even crossed an open ridge that had a nice view.
Eventually, the trail brought me to a short side trail that went to the gorgeous Jones Falls where I decided to take a break. Later, the trail started to descend, and I enjoyed a nice, flat walk along the bank of a pretty little stream. Just before the trail started to leave the stream and start climbing, I hit another milestone. Mile 400!
My goal for the day was the Mountaineer Shelter, but I arrived there so early that I decided to press on. Today’s hike was perhaps the easiest that I have experienced on the trail to date. There were no big climbs or descents, and the treadway was smooth, dry, and rock free. So what did I do? I fell. Twice. Hard. I’m not sure what happened, but I think I was cruising along in the zone, and being lackadaisical about planting my poles, when my back toe would catch on a small root. Next thing I knew, I was headed face forward with a pack on my back. At the last minute, I was able to twist enough to take it on the shoulder and roll, but it still didn’t feel great. I just shared a few nearly forgotten USMC expletives with the trees, dusted myself off, and continued to carry on. After the second fall, I also started to pay more attention to pole and foot placement.
After getting water from a spring, the sun was starting to set, so I started to look for a place to camp. Shorty, I came upon a spot right next to the trail that had a fire ring and a flat spot just big enough to accommodate my tent. I believe that this is the first time I have camped on the trail completely by myself, and I’m enjoying my own little slice of heaven. The stars tonight are amazing.