So, Here I am taking my 2nd zero day since being on the trail. I am in Hot Springs, NC, where we arrived early enough for breakfast yesterday and have all day today off! For those interested, Gatlinburg was a busy time and not really a day off for relaxation. I did enjoy Dollywood, but found myself rushing to put things back together before heading back to the trail! Maybe should have taken an extra day there! Oh well! It felt good to get back on the trail.
I believe the last time I wrote, I was hiking with "One Thing" and staying in Helen, GA. Since then, I lost "one thing" and picked up "Montana" after getting into North Carolina! One thing about coming north into North Carolina is that you get kind of slapped in the face with the terrain. I don't think they believe in bypassing anything. We went straight up and straight back down! It was crazy! "Montana" plans on plowing over every knob and putting up Walmarts with the idea that all trails lead to Walmart!
It has been an exciting time since picking up "Montana"! We have done some pretty crazy miles, but when we don't then we get in early to a shelter and die of boredom. So, we press on until we about die of hiking! The day that I started hiking with him, we did 20miles and followed it with a 24mile day! That was crazy! "Montana" lucked out after the 24mile day as he took a zero day at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, while I hiked 7miles with my father.
Speaking of my father, he did not believe me when I told him the terrain was going to be rough, I guess! He made it 2 days and then spent time trying to recover in time for Dollywood!
Upon returning to the trail from Gatlinburg, we picked up some more people to add to our happy family! Last night I stayed in a Cabin along the French Broad River with "montana", "Three Cats", and "Iron Foot". I was excited to see "iron foot" again as he was a guy that I played leap frog with in the begin as well as "one thing". Actually, "one thing" is back on the trail as well! I thought he had seriously injured his knees around Franklin, but he has been doing some crazy miles and caught "Montana" and I at the Icewater Springs Shelter.
So, on the whole, things have been going well. I have been enjoying annoying "Montana" with my energy. We will get into camp in the evening and I am talking of situps and taking a jog! His feet are hurting with blisters and he is pretty tired usually. Last night as we walked back to the cabin, I was doing cartwheels, and he said he was going to crush my toes if I do it again!
It is funny how on the trail you just meet people and hang out with them for a while and it seems like you have known them forever. Yesterday coming into Hot Springs, "Montana", "Three Cats", and myself hit the first restaurant (or Rest and Rant as Montana would say) we found and got ourselves some breakfast. As I walked into the Smokey Mountain Diner, "Black Helmet", "Lobster Boy", and "Bootleg" all greeted me with a warm hello! It is great hiking your own hike as you end up coming into a town and finding people that you have not seen for a while! What a family it really is out here! I hope it continues as I hear people stop talking as they get further north due to just being ready to be done with the trail!
Anyway, stay tuned for many more stories from the trail! The next place may be Damascus, VA. I am not sure from day to day where I will end up! Out here, I have been just following the fun people I have met. So, until I come off for Dana's wedding, I will probably be at the mercy of "Montana", "Three Cats", and "Iron Foot"! Take care everyone and know I think of ya'all every day!
To my husband, I thank you for your continuous love and support. I miss you tons and think of you daily. Everyone out here has probably heard at least a little something about you! You are my sunshine!