This morning we woke up feeling great for many reasons: Nokey’s 3 month mark on the trail, good terrain in the morning, the halfway point of the trail, and the half gallon challenge! We started walking and immediately my left Achilles tendon was hurting. I checked it out and it appeared I was stung or bitten by something with a ton of swelling. Every step I took the back of my shoe rubbed the bump! It was sore, but we pressed on. About 6 miles and 2 hours in, we passed the official halfway mark at Toms Run Shelter, 1092.2! After we took photos, we walked about a quarter mile and found a sign put in last year at the 2011 halfway point! The sign was really exciting and we took goofy photos there, then pushing on to Pine Grove Furnace State Park for the half gallon challenge! We got there just before noon and went in to the store and got ready for the challenge. Turns out, it was six bucks, not free if you finish like we were told. They also were out of all the favors except chocolate. I decided to skip the challenge and get a pint of mint chocolate chip and a hamburger. Nokey, Byline, and Flash did the challenge. Nokey finished in 18 minutes, Flash in 31, and Byline in 35. We had to hang out there until 5 pm, when the hostel opened, so Flash could get his drop box. Nokey and I decided this would be a good time to go to the beach! There’s a lake at the park that used to be an ore pit in the steel days of the area, now filled in by neighboring streams. We hopped in the lake for a while to cool off and then took a nap on the beach. We went up to talk to Flash and he had decided to stay at the hostel, located in an old mansion on the property. We decided to stay as well considering we could both use a shower and laundry. Turns out they didn’t have laundry, but they did have showers and meals included! Tube Socks came in as well, so we all hung out on the porch of the beautiful mansion before heading in to sleep in a real bed! Tomorrow we do 19 in to Boiling Springs! The photo is of me at “halfway” point.