Stretch—Days 19 to 27
Holy hell its been almost a month on the trail. 342.2 miles in
Day 19: 10.4
Today we left Gatlinburg and made our way back into the woods to Peck’s Corner Shelter.
Day 20: 20 mi + 1.7 blue blazes
Hiked my longest day of the trip and ever today. It only took us 9.5 hours go all these miles which is pretty awesome. As you correctly assumed, I’m tired. Off to Max Patch tomorrow.
It was a long day with tired feet. We made it to the road before Max Patch and there was trail magic that lifted our spirits, thanks Scout and Gadget! We made it to Max Patch for a beautiful sunset and it was the best place to sleep so far on the AT.
Day 22: 20.3 mi
Originally we weren’t going to go all the way to Hot Springs but the trail was smooth and it wasn’t too hard to get through. Once we got to town we made our way to the bar where I had the AT burger which was a ridiculously huge 18 oz and I can’t believe I finished… After spending too much money on beer and food I made my way to camp by the river. I set up camp with Molly and waited to see if the others could find us. We were in a creepy spot and we ended up moving because everyone was far and I’m a pansy.
$33 food & beer
Day 23: -1 mi
We woke up early, got breakfast and started the process of getting chores done. It’s true what I’ve heard, town is not a break. We must have walked up and down Hot Springs ten times and did the same number of miles we would have on the trail. The resort had a groupon type deal going and I was able to get a massage and Molly, Huck and I used the Hot Tub very cheap. It was definitely fun until a thunderstorm rolled in. The storm was a good opportunity to take a zero so we stayed at Laughing Heart Hostel. They had pillows so it as a great night.
$180, ordered a warmer weather sleeping bag since mine is making me sweat.
$22 hostel, $25 resupply, $30 spa
Day 24: 15.3 mi
Leaving town always makes the trail feel harder. I’m not sure if that’s a real thing that happens to people but it certainly affects me.
$4.50 food at Mom’s
Day 25: 17.5 mi
Made our way through the ever present swarm of black flys to Flint Mountain Shelter. I’m definitely getting a bug net for hiking, I don’t think my eyes can hold any more dead flies.
Day 26: 14.9 mi
Made it to a comfortable campsite and started a good book. Nothing too out of the ordinary today.
Day 27: 20.8 mi
The day started out pretty ordinary and we decided to push all the way to Erwin and camp by the river.
Molly, now Dirt Face (such a hilarious name), Huck, Freestyle and I got into our first dangerous weather situation.
Dirt keeps saying what her worst fears are and they keep coming true. She said her fear was Tom and Huck separating which happened right after and then a bad thunderstorm.
The hail came down and we ran the last 3 miles to Erwin with strong winds wiping hail stones at us. I got some small bruises but I had a drink for each one to make up for it. I stayed at Uncle Johnny’s since I was wet and didn’t want to camp. It was a little pricey and not the nicest of hostels but it had a dog that really made me happy.
$22 hostel, $17.50 dinner, $4.50 cider, $10 resupply
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