Days 23-24

Day 23

Hot springs to Allen gap

14.3 miles, mile 289.7

Today was the first slackpack day for me! Ethan hiked with me for the 14.3 miles and it is so great to have him here. Kevin decided to sprint and beat us to Allen gap by 2 hours. We met some new thru hikers today that I haven’t run into before. One guy was from Merrimack NH and also worked at Getinge (only for a month)… small world. That was the first NH thru hiker we have found other than ourselves of course. It was so nice to not have my pack today but my quad is still hurting so I’m excited for a zero tomorrow. Kevin saw a bear and the guy behind us saw two bears and Ethan and I saw no bears. We had a nice view up at a fire tower and there were horses up there that a group of older ladies were riding. That was something we didn’t expect to see today. We also saw two adorable dogs and Ethan brought cookies for them. I also got new shoes today! Mom went to REI to pick them up for me, I got Saucony Peregrine 13s instead of Topos to switch it up. Not super impressed with the durability of the topos since after only 290 miles I need new shoes. We are driving back to the house now to make some tacos and soak in the hot tub.

Day 24

ZERO, mile 289.7

Woop woop a zero day to spend some time with Ethan and mom. Today was Kevin’s birthday too. I was a dummy when I ordered my shoes yesterday and got a size 10. My feet seem to have grown since starting this, and my size 10 Topo shoes were feeling too small. So mom, Ethan, and I drove the hour and 10 minutes (stopping for another latte on the way) into Asheville to the REI so I could get a size 10.5 in the Saucony shoes. They look so very crisp and new compared to my other shoes, that didn’t seem to hold up well over just 290 miles. Ethan cooked up some steak when we got back and we have spent the rest of the day lounging around. I will be getting in the hot tub for one last time later for sure. It will be a harsh reality jumping back on trail after these wonderful days with a bed, hot showers, and the hot tub. I’m hoping my quad will be feeling okay tomorrow when we start hiking at Allen Gap. I got the next 4 days of food sorted out, so my pack will be a tad on the heavier side tomorrow!

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