Day 34 – A New Hope
Today was fun. 17 miles into town always is but today it was more about the journey than the destination. Which is hard to focus on sometimes, especially when that destination has a hibachi, a bed, and cable TV.
This morning was brisk. While not particularly cold, a steady 15mph breeze was blowing directly into the shelter. It made getting ready slightly less pleasant and encouraged us to get out on the trail earlier than we probably would have otherwise.
Hatcher is a man on a mission when there’s food involved, and he and Rabbit left camp around 7:30AM. Sip and I followed maybe 20 minutes behind.
Sip and I hiked all day together over a pretty cruise-y 17 miles into Erwin, TN. Sip can generally hike much faster than me, but he let me lead and liked the pace I set. He normally will take a short break every hour or so, but with me leading, I think we only stopped to sit down and eat once or twice all day.
The conversation was equally as good. We talked about high school and college classes, sports, relationships, and the trail (obviously). He had the same line of thinking that I did with Hatcher and Rabbit the day earlier, that we would all make a great trivia team (even better with Soda), and we should find trivia to do in a town that has it.
We strolled into Erwin (mistakenly named because it was supposed to be called Ervin, but the post office had a mixup) after 17 miles feeling really good. The 4 of us (and Stan) decided to share a room at the Motel 8 in town. Because 17 miles was not enough, we walked one more to a hibachi place in town. We each crushed an entire box and roughly 40 oz of Mountain Dew. We got a ride back into town because we certainly weren’t walking that far again with full bellies if we didn’t have to.
On the way back to the hotel, we also stopped for fast food (Mcdonald’s for me, Taco Bell for Hatcher) to eat as a second dinner in a few hours. Hiker hunger is becoming real. We watched the Lakers game from the room together while eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s ride to trail days. With clean bodies, clean clothes, and still-fresh legs, we’re ready for the weekend. Trail Days is calling our name.
Random thought of the day:
You finish your food; there are starving hikers on the Appalachian Trail right now.
Stow away in my pack again tomorrow for Day 35 and Trail Days on the Appalachian Trail.
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