Gary just called and he is at the 152 mile marker (getting close to Fontana Dam, NC) and still has a half a day ahead. He said the weather is perfect. A couple hikers' (I think he said married couple) friends met them with a BBQ picnic and invited everyone to join in. It appears that even though he is alone he is having a good social time also.
He said the day started out rocky but has evened off. He gets reception when he is on top of a hill so he can call. He commented that the bugs are eating him alive though.