I hiked 10.7 miles. Creak and I got an early start at 7:30 AM. The trail was fairly level and we did 5 miles in two hours to a shelter. The goal for the day was to hike at least 14 miles. However, just after the shelter the trail went up 1,700 feet and there were lots of rocks and boulders. I had to slow down and Creak pulled ahead.
The steep climb with all the rocks took their toll, and my leg started to hurt with the effort. About 2:00 PM, I arrived at the Laurel Creek Shelter. It turns out that Creak was only 15 minutes ahead of me.
We discussed the continuing hike. Creak wanted to camp at the Keffler oak tree (second largest on the AT). I pointed out that the guide indicated there was no camping there. He planned to go 7 miles further if he couldn't pitch a tent. The oak tree, itself, was almost 5 miles ahead. I decided not to join him considering the potential for 22 miles hiking today - especially in light of the leg problem.
I hated to get off the trail so early (2:00 PM). Nevertheless, it gave me an opportunity to clean up a bit. I washed my t-shirt, shirt, and socks in a stream and did a myriad of other housekeeping chores. So now I'm ready for tomorrow. If my leg is better, I'll try to put on some miles and see if I can catch up with Creak.