Day 29 – My Boy Is Wicked Smaaat

Today was fun. We collectively decided 20 miles was not being completed today and we opted for 6 miles. There’s a 14 mile stretch of trail that’s been closed to camping due to bear activity (hence the 2 options).

We went back to the Smoky Mountain Diner for breakfast. They had Cinnamon Roll Saturdays, and I could simply not pass that up. It paired nicely with coffee. I needed a resupply of Tylenol and ibuprofen from the Dollar General that I forgot to get the day before. After one 500mg Tylenol and three to four ibuprofen, I’m good to go each morning.

Back at the hostel, we took our time packing. Six miles would be light work and didn’t require an early start. As I said my goodbyes to Ian and Jess, another hiker recognized us all together from my previous post. He asked me if I was blogging for The Trek. This was the first time I’ve been recognized out of the blue on the trail; is this what fame feels like?

We raided the hiker box and grabbed a soda for the road. I also said goodbye to Huff, Puff & Ruff, Latestart, and Hammer before setting out. The trail led us back through town, a trip we’ve become quite accustomed to by now.

I cold-soaked in the river and we were off. The hill out of town was steep. It took us passed a spot called “Lover’s Leap,” which has a pretty good view of the whole city. We made it to camp after a meandering 6.7 miles with many breaks. We probably also spent a third of our day speaking in a Boston accent and reciting lines from “The Departed” and “Good Will Hunting.”

I ate the heaviest items in my food bag; a 10-ounce packet of meatballs with tortilla, beef jerky, and a couple Twinkies (not heavy, but it cleared some extra space). We made a fire to ward off the bugs while we ate. I’d find my first latched-on tick on my thigh. I pulled it off with tweezers and sent him to a fiery grave. 200mg of Doxycycline for me tonight as Lymes disease prophylaxis.

While we’re camping on the edge of “known” bear territory, all of the AT up until now is common for bear activity so I’m not sure we’re any more or less concerned. I still have my bear canister, which I would love to get rid of. But I figure I’ll keep it at least another week and maybe send it home at Trail Days. Shaving 2.2 lbs of pack weight off my back would be welcome.

Random Thought of the Day

Considering continuing our Boston accents to Maine. I’m sure they’re atrocious and highly offensive right now, but they’re bound to get better, right?

Presently there is a persistent chirp of crickets and/or frogs that every so often will go completely silent for 10 seconds or so, which is kind of eerie as I’m writing this. Also, every rustle of leaves makes the mind wander to uncomfortable places. It’s time for earplugs and to become blissfully unaware of my surroundings. I’ll keep y’all posted on any overnight bear happenings tomorrow. Until then, stow away in my pack for day 30 on the Appalachian Trail.

Jackie C

Hey there, it’s been far too long. I see you’re an esquire now, congratulations kiddo. Today I randomly thought of the time during crew practice when we yelled at each other in the boat. I don’t even recall what it was about but it crosses my mind from time to time. Regardless, I see you’re putting that arguing to good use. Hope things are well for you, wishing you all the best.

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Comments 1

  • thetentman : May 14th

    I just read on the Interwebz that if you drink enough beer you will grow wings.
    Of course, I think that is nonsense but I think you should try.

    thx for the post.


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