Back on trail from Erwin

Day 48: (May 31st)

I slept in pretty late that day because someone in the bunkhouse was snoring so loud that even my ear plugs didn’t help. Sadly, I wasn’t able to hop in the breakfast shuttle because of it. Either way, sleeping in a bunk was pretty nice.
We decided to jump on the lunch shuttle to an all you can eat pizza place. 4 plates of pizza later, we all loaded back on the shuttle.
Harambe and I decided to go to a free campsite next to the river instead of paying for another night at the hostel. We got all set up in the sand and chilled there for the rest of the day. It was the laziest zero that I’ve ever taken, and it was great.

Day 49: (June 1st)

We woke up bright and early so we could catch the breakfast shuttle from Uncle Johnnys. Harambe and I went to the Huddle House and finished two huge breakfasts within minutes of getting them.
We got back to the hostel and decided that we would definitely be hiking out. The rest of our trail family was heading to the first shelter which was only 4 miles out, so I decided that I was going to stick with them. Harambe wanted to get more than 4 miles, so he was thinking of hiking past the shelter.
We hung around Uncle Johnnys for hours playing chess and just hanging around. Finally, we left around 2. We had heard that hiking out of Erwin would be one of the hardest climbs yet. However, when we started hiking, we quickly realized that it was not at all the case. We made it to the shelter in no time. Ragnar and C sharp were already there when we arrived. I was on the fence about staying, so I ate some lunch and tried to convince myself to keep hiking. It didn’t happen.
Harambe hiked on in hopes of getting to Beauty Spot which was 6 miles ahead. I set up everything and hung my bear bag. Everyone else at the shelter started to play Dungeons and Dragons, so I watched for a while and then went off to bed.

Day 50: (June 2nd)

I was one of the first to wake up that morning. Everyone else was sleeping in pretty late, so I started planning my day. I noticed that Greasy Creek friendly was only 20 miles away, and a shower sounded amazing. However, I had to get there before sundown because there were only “limited services” during sabbath.
I quickly packed up, and hiked towards Beauty Spot. Getting up the mountain was easy, and the views on top were amazing. You could see for miles around. I looked around to see if Harambe was camping still, but he was nowhere to be found. I headed down and took a break at the bottom of the mountain.
Out of nowhere I hear someone do a hiker call, and I turned around to find Harambe walking over to me. He said he had slept in until noon, and was just now leaving camp. I was not surprised at all. Anyways, we carried on up Unaka mountain. We got up the next mountain quickly, and the shelter was just minutes away after that.
We stopped at Cherry Gap shelter for lunch. Everyone else that we talked to was staying there, but we were determined to make it the extra 7 miles to Greasy Creek Friendly.
We did the 3 miles from the shelter to Iron Mountain Gap in just under an hour. To reward ourselves, we took a long break at the gap and hoped that a passing car might stop and gift us some beer. No such luck.
We hiked the next four miles at the same pace, and we arrived at Greasy Creek Gap right before sundown. We weren’t going to make it before the sabbath started.
I had hiked 20 miles, and just had to go .6 more to get to the hostel. The trail to the hostel was a bit hard to navigate through, but we made it down to the hostel in no time.
We arrived to find a list of instructions before we could enter. We had to take off our shoes, wash our hands, leave our packs and poles in specific places, and most importantly: not use anything but paper towels when drying our hands. We did our “chores”, and came in to meet CeeCee who runs the place. She was a very sweet older lady who was very concerned with the cleanliness of her hostel. We both decided that we would tent to save some money, so we brought our packs across the creek to set up. I found a great spot, and began to pull out my tent. I quickly realized that my tent poles were missing. They must’ve fallen out of my side pouch somewhere. I searched everywhere around the hostel with no luck in finding them.
I had no choice but to sleep in the bunkhouse. I cashed out with CeeCee early, so that I could leave at dawn to hike back down the trail to find my poles. She was very understanding and wanted to do anything she could to help. I laid in bed for a while stressing about my poles, and finally fell asleep.

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