3 Weeks Down in Erwin, TN
5.3 miles in 2 hours 45 minutes
Sitting here in my tent right now listening to a guy throw up only 10 yards away. It seems to come on real suddenly for this guy, so maybe it was something he ate. This is one of the few campsites I have come upon that has phone signal, which is superb. My plan was to push on another 8 miles to the next site, but it was 4:30 and since it is lightly raining now, I would have been miserable. I certainly have enough food to make it a week to Erwin, TN, but my plan was to do it in 4 days.
I thought tenting would isolate myself from the snoring of other hikers. What I am listening to now is more of a an apnea induced throat rattle. Perhaps his tongue is trying to kill him. At this volume of the snore, I hope it succeeds. Listening to grown men vomit and snore may have ruined my decision to stay and not push on. Who would have known though right?
3.7 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes(sample pace for the morning)
My largest day of 21.8 miles. From spring mountain shelter to flint mountain shelter. Such a long feeling day. The guidebook led me to believe the terrain would not be so bad, but the type of terrain is not specified. Very rocky and that just tears up my feet. The skin just pushing and mashing against itself to combat the loose rocks and roots cannot be good. I passed by 2 grave sites today bringing my total on the trail so far to 3. I plan on doing another 20 mile day so I can arrive at Erwin on Wednesday when it is raining. My assumption is that people will be pouring into the town sopping wet looking for a place to stay so I hope everything is not booked up. If I can find some cell signal, I may place some calls to reserve something. Hopefully the minutiae that I think about like town plans is not boring you readers.
Did my largest day so far with 22.4 miles.
From flint mountain shelter to the whistling gap campsite. Such a strenuous uphill followed by such a spectacular view from the top. It makes me forget about the shin splints. Big Bald was the name of the spot. Just as spectacular as max patch but with deeper views. Brewing a hot cup of green tea and staring out at the layers of mountains you conquered was a satisfying ending to the day. Pretty much had 3 dinners tonight. Combined my favorite chili mac with beef mountain house with a homemade Mac and chews in a freezer bag. Probably over 100 calories in that one. Then moved on to spaghetti with meat sauce which I am now sick of. Dessert consisted of a package of hazlenut butter, 1/3 a bag of apricots and some decaf coffee. Should roll into Erwin around lunch time and take the rest of the day off.
The longest miles are the ones just before town. I pulled off 13.3 miles into Erwin in 4 hours. Luckily I can open it up going downhill. I thought I was going to be outrunning the rain, but turns out it was a nice day. Looks like I should be seeing showers tomorrow afternoon.
I am staying at Cantarroso farm here in Erwin. This house is situated directly on the Nolichucky river and the hosts Mike and Peggy are great. I sprang for the extra bucks to rent the suite upstairs. Your own bathroom and den really make the difference. On-demand shuttles from the host Mike really differentiates it from the cattle trailer-esque shuttles of other places. The farm aspect is very apparent. Mike is an avid bee keeper and there are over 20 chickens. Such a relaxing place to spend the day. Find them on Airbnb as well for you non hikers.
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