Where did I leave off? So much has happened since my last update! Hadyn and I stopped in Robbinsville for what was supposed to just be a quick resupply, but that quickly changed when we ran into our buddies Greg and Gabriel and decided to take an entire week off to see what Trail Days was all about. Bold move, but well worth it! We had to shuttle back to Franklin to rent our now legendary Chevy Equinox. (Team Equinox was born!) With so much time to kill before the actual festival begin, we were a little overwhelmed. Large amounts of Taco Bell were consumed.
“We have four different orders, is that gonna be a problem?”
-slight sigh followed by long pause-
“…..ok great we’ll have……”
Also, I got to celebrate my 22nd birthday in the great town of Asheville!
was nothing short of amazing. We were treated like kings by some, and dirty hippies by others. Free food was waiting for us around every corner! The One Way Ministry organization in Damascus showed us kindness, even though we didn’t look or smell the greatest, and I thought that was really great of them. When we weren’t indulging ourselves with free food, we were catching up with old trail friends, playing frisby with our $1 Scooby Doo dog toy, or visiting the fire circles in the woods at night. I hope I make it back to this celebration as a 2015 alumnini somewhere down the road!
BACK TO TRAIL LIFE:
After an entire week off trail, you start to forget how hard you have to push yourself every day. The sweat, dirt, pain, and ruggedness leave your mind and then you find yourself right back in the middle of it. Some of us are excited to bounce back, and some of us start to crave the luxuries of “normal life” again. Hadyn decided he needed to go home once we hiked into Fontana Village. I have no hard feelings. He did 150 miles of what I’ve heard is some of the hardest part of the trail, and he should feel nothing but pride for that! We helped each other get that far, and I’m sure he’s still cheering me on from Oklahoma as I write this. Keep up the fight, Pfeifer!
FROM FONTANA TO HOT SPRINGS:
Luckily I was still with Greg and Gabriel after Hadyn left. I haven’t really had to hike completely alone yet, and I’m thankful for that! Shortly after hitting the Smokies, we shuttled into Gatlinburg during Memorial weekend. It was an absolute nuthouse! So. Many. People. I’m sure we looked like fish out of water, or hikers out of the woods to put it more literally.
GATLINBURG TO HOT SPRINGS:
Believe it or not, the shortly after the Smokies gets more extreme, at least in my opinion. The climbs killed my legs, but a hiker’s gotta hike. If anyone ever gets a chance to visit Max Patch in North Carolina, do it! No hesitation. It’s been my favorite part of the Trail so far hands down. Could it have something to do with putting out a Shire-esque vibe? Yes.
After a confusing separation of the remaining three Team Equinox members in the woods, Gabriel and me met up in Hot Springs during their annual Civil War reinactment. The cannons shook the entire town! As we waited the weekend out to here from Greg, we marathoned Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family, and I don’t regret a thing. Gabriel had to stay behind to get a maildrop, so I pushed on to Spring Mountain Shelter and noticed a familiar tent as I hiked in. HIKER GREG! Maybe Team Equinox will reunite after all.
As always, thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and interest in this long venture. I’ll try and update more when I get the chance!
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