Heading into Erwin

Day 45: (May 28th)

We planned to hike lots of miles that day. It was pretty early when we woke up, so it was not a far fetched idea to make it 15 miles to Hogback Ridge shelter. We ate some breakfast, got some water, and headed out.
It wasn’t long before we hit Big Butt mountain. I climbed up the mountain with no problems and waited on top for Harambe to catch up. We had been out of cigarettes for a couple days now, so there was a lot of snacking during the wait.
Finally, Harambe arrived with a cut on his leg. I asked why he hadn’t put a bandage on it, and he told me that he threw away his first aid kit at Neels Gap. After laughing at his ultra light methods, I helped him out with the first aid kit in my bag.
Anyways, we headed down the mountain and towards the first shelter. It was mainly downhill the rest of the way, so we arrived in no time.
At the shelter, we found Poseidon, Fridge, Potato, and Bison. It was great to finally catch up to some of our trail family. We soon after found out that Fridge was sick, and they had been hanging out at the shelter for a while because of it. Originally, we planned to keep hiking, but Harambe was not feeling well enough to keep going.
We stayed at Flint Mountain Shelter and met some cool people, slept more than we had in a while and prepared to make up the miles tomorrow.

Day 46: (May 29th)

Harambe took some NyQuil, so he woke up feeling refreshed and ready to hike. I was well rested too, and together, we were ready to do a big mile day. We ate some breakfast and started our hike.
After a couple of miles, we ran into signs for a new hostel called Laurel Hostel. It was just a short walk off trail, so we didn’t hesitate to go. We arrived and quickly realized that they sold beer and cigarettes. We loaded up on both. I scarfed down some pizza and guzzled 3 cans of soda. Finally, we were ready to head out.
Getting back to hiking was a bit harder than we thought, but we pressed on to the next shelter. Hiking to Hogback Ridge Shelter was quite a task after drinking beers and eating greasy food, but we finally made it.
There, we took a quick break and decided to press on about 10 more miles to the Bald Mountain Shelter. We hiked for a while and decided to take a break at Sam’s Gap. It was a short break, then we started hiking up and out of the gap. The sun was beating down on us, and we decided to take another KitKat only about .1 miles from the gap. We were both feeling pretty worn down, and Harambe said that his stomach was beginning to bother him.
We talked for a while about how long it would take to get to the next shelter, but the Nature’s Inn Hostel was just outside of Sam’s Gap. Being as lazy as we are, we decided to try the hostel. We called them up and decided that it would be too expensive to stay. Out of nowhere, we saw a business card for a shuttle that could take us to Erwin. That definitely sounded like a better option. We planned to go to Walmart and get medicine and sleep in a real bed so we could both feel better.
The shuttle came shortly after, and in no time, we were at the Super 8. We ate some dinner, and planned to Slackpack early the next morning back to where we were.

Day 47 (May 30th)

We slept great in our own beds with real sheets and pillows. We didn’t wake up until about a half hour before check out time because of how comfy the beds were. Anyways, we realized that we had laundry to do, so that was the first chore to do. We ate some complimentary hotel breakfast while waiting for the laundry.
When the laundry was finally done, we decided to go into town and get a couple errands done before heading over to Uncle Johnnys Hostel to slackpack from there. The first stop was the post office so I could send my sleeping bag home.
When we arrived, we were greeted by the post office cat (a cat who just lives in the post office). I sent home my bag, and next on the list of to dos was find Mexican food.
We walked over to Azteca Mexican restaurant and enjoyed some lunch. We ate so much that walking to the hostel was out of the question. We called them up for a shuttle, and it arrived shortly after.
Uncle Johnnys was a very interesting place. They have bikes that you can borrow to get into town, some kayaks to rent, and some of the best bathroom facilities I’ve seen on the trail so far. There, we saw Ragnar, 13, and a bunch of other hikers we had hiked with. We remembered that we needed to slackpack, but we had already wasted a day. We both made the executive decision to just yellow blaze instead. We spent the rest of the day just hanging around Uncle Johnnys, drinking, smoking, and riding around town on the shuttles. Harambe was still feeling pretty sick, so we were going to decided what to do the next day.

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