I'm with Joe and a hiker named Footwork. With the finish line in sight, many have taken ill and stayed behind at the Standing Bear Hostel (pictured). We'll regroup after the Smokies. Red is suffering from a pretty nasty cold. We thought Double D had Giardia, but the doc thinks he just has a stomach flu that's going around. Puddles has a sinus infection and onset pneumonia, according to his doctor. Just about everyone else has a mild cough and wonder if we are the next to be bedridden. The trail seems to be throwing out roadblocks in the final stretches.
There's little time for sickness now, and after today, only 200 miles to go. That could mean only ten days left, but I think we all want to finish with the group, i.e. friends that understand what we've all been through... and understand why I'll, no doubt, be sobbing.