Knew I had a big day, so I had set my alarm. Was going 31 miles to Kincora Hostel. The thought of a warm shower kept me going. About ten miles in I made it to Watauga Dam. What a sight, a dammed up lake on one side and a massive canyon on the other. Just had Pond Flats to climb and it was downhill the rest of the day. As I got down the other side, I followed the beautiful Laurel Creek which had a massive waterfall. Definitely want to go back here again. The night was cold as I was still wearing my shorts and t-shirt. I made it to the road walk, just .2 miles to Kincora Hostel. On the way up, lights flickered at the first home. No sign it was the hostel, but I figured I’d check it out. This old rugged beaten down house was pumping out so much smoke it looked like a smokestack on a train. So I knocked on the door to see if this was the hostel. An old buzzard opened the door. He came up to the door using a chair as his cane. Seemed like he enjoyed the disturbance late at night. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch his name, but he told me the hostel was just a little farther up the on the left. He was hard of hearing, but I commented about the woodstove. Mentioned it smells wonderful and he pointed over to the stack he had ready for the winter. There was no doubt he was ready. I said “Thanks,” and he said, “you be safe out their son.” Nice old guy made my day. Made it to the hostel and met Bob peoples briefly. Nice guy, showed me around the place. With tons of history going thru, I felt like a part of history. Tons of finishing thankyou pictures of each year, plaques, books, and newspapers smothered the walls of the hostel. Truly an inspiring place to call home for a night.