When I decided to hike the AT, I thought it would be freeing to opt out of societal beauty standards for a bit. Maybe at some point it will be, but a month in, it’s still jarring. I haven’t had a mustache like this since the 7th grade. I do a double take every time I see myself in a mirror. It’s funny because this is the fittest I’ve ever been and also the worst I’ve ever looked. I no longer believe in the concept of getting snatched.
Anyhoo, here’s our regularly scheduled programming:
Walked uphill all day. 6 miles!
We’re trying to catch up to the rest of the tramily, who are a day ahead of us. And now my feet hurt.
I had a great day at Fontana Dam. I thought it was a town because everyone kept talking about the marina and general store. Nope! It’s all part of a resort. We met back up with the rest of the tramily + a lot of other friends I’ve made on the way. It’s fun running into people you haven’t seen in a while. There’s usually cheering involved.
Ate a great brisket sandwich.
Sara Kaki sent me some snacks (thank you!) that I hiked a mile holding in my arms because I didn’t have space in my pack. I looked very silly.
We stayed at the Fontana Hilton, which is a shelter overlooking the lake with showers and charging stations. We jumped into the lake. It was so cold. That night by the fire there was a thru-hiker talent show. Real summer camp energy – lots of call and response. We did some kind of enchantment song to ward off rain in the Smokys? We’ll see about that.
Today was a tough day at first because of my left knee. I pulled an upper-calf muscle and it was really bothering me. I was truly worried about an injury derailing me because at this point I’m all in. In Georgia, when people asked me if I’m going all the way to Maine, I would say “that’s the plan!” Now I just say “yeah.” I don’t want to get hurt. I borrowed a knee brace from a friend and felt better in the afternoon.
It’s so pretty here! I took a two hour long nap in a field.
I hit 200 miles today! The 200 mile marker is at Clingman’s Dome, which is a popular tourist destination. A child walking by gave me a long stare, I assume because I smelled like a farm animal.
Saturday & Sunday 4/22-23
We’re zero-ing in Gatlinburg. Thank God. We haven’t zero-ed since Hiawassee. It’s cool to drive down the mountains into town because it gives a lot of perspective to how high we hike. I got a mimosa, did laundry and showered, and laughed a lot. Honestly I don’t remember about what.
The next day, I got 5 Guys and we went moonshine tasting. Then we played poker in the motel room with Monopoly money. ‘Twas nice.
We finally used the disc golf frisbee! I was originally going to dump it at the next hiker box but it’s too fun. Maybe I’ll carry it to Katahdin.
Tuesday & Wednesday 4/25-4/26
It rained. The song didn’t work! We had some pretty awesome views, though. Here’s a pic of Charlie’s Bunion, the inspo for this blog’s title.
We hiked out of the Smokys to Standing Bear. This place has such good vibes. I did a couple chores to shave money off my tab.
See you next time!
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