The crazy town of Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is the weirdest town I have ever been in. It is best compared to a year round fair ground. There’s rides, gift shops, old time photo booths, arcades, and tons of fried food. We spent the day exploring town and riding the trolley to the food city and laundromat. We figured out that it would take about 6 to 7 days to get into Hot Springs, so our resupply was quite expensive. KitKat spent 200 dollars on food alone, everyone else averaged at about 100 dollar.
With full bags and clean clothes, we headed back to the hotel room. We picked up some delicious snicker doodles and rice crispy treats courtesy of Harambe’s mom. We ate lunch at the Loco Bura Mexican restaurant, and it was delicious. We ordered some guacamole that was made fresh at our table, and it was so worth it. After lunch, we all headed back to the room and hung around for a while longer before heading out to the bar and moonshine distillery. At Ole Smoky Mountain Distillery, we got to sample some moonshine. Then we headed over to the Smoky Mountain brewery where they had 2 dollar beers. We drank for a while and headed back to the room for the night. It was a great zero day.
No one wanted to hike when we woke up, so we decided to take yet another zero day in the crazy town of Gatlinburg. We tried to ask the front desk for another room, but we were denied for supposedly having too many people sleep in our room. I’m sure the real reason had something to do with the fact that we had lost 3 roomkeys and we were constantly hanging around in the parking lot drying out or gear and smoking cigarettes. We were the definition of hiker trash.
Anyways, we headed over to the LeConte Inn, and found that it was actually cheaper for a nicer room and access to the hot tub and heated pool. We hung around all day nursing our egos after getting kicked out of the Microtel. We really didn’t do anything else that day other than lounge around the hotel room trolling the interesting people that we found on Tinder.
We woke up early that morning and got all our packs ready to go. We headed over to the outfitter in town and weighed our packs. They each had gained about 10 pounds with the enormous 7 day resupply that we had. We were reluctant to leave town, so we compromised by eating one last meal there before leaving for good. We had some delicious BBQ, and with full bellies and heavy packs, we called up an Uber.
We got to Clingman’s Dome shortly thereafter, and no one was motivated to hike. We hung around for at least an hour in the parking lot. Itchy fell asleep and all the tourist probably thought he was a homeless man. Finally, after about half a pack of cigarettes later, we headed up to the trail. We planned to get past Newfound Gap that day, but since it was so late, we ended up stopping at the Mt Collins Shelter 2.5 miles down the trail.
I experimented that night with making burritos on my little stove, and it worked quite nicely. We all hung around for a while and called it a night.
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