Hiker Talk: Trail Update #2
Food. Feet. Fun. Fotos
I thought I’d break down what seems to be the common thru- hiker conversations/lingo that has been ever prevalent at camp.
50% All about FOOD. Glorious FOOD. Our cravings do not come quietly.
25% Feet, or in other words, updates on each other’s ailments or body changes. (Ya these topics become an “open book type” forum pretty quick).
34% Fun. Ofcourse! The highlights of the day, the people we meet, the breathtaking or the unexpectant encounters.
34% Fotos (well Photos, but you know…). The beautiful scenaries are astounding.
More than 100% ?!… oh well, we all talk too much anyhow.
Hiker hunger. It hit me in the face like a 2lb bag of snicker bars. It was on my second day since entering the Smokies . Caught me off guard, as my resupply at Fontana was supposedly good for 7 days worth of meals and snacks (so I wouldn’t have to hitch into Gatlinburg halfway through this section). That reality quickly disapated as in one day I ate 3 luches worth, my 4 snicker bars I packed to spread out through the whole Smokies, and for dinner, 6 servings of pasta, rice, and tuna… (add random candy in there somewhere). My food supply now limited me to book some crazy miles in order to make it to Newfound Gap for a shuttle into town.
BUT! When a potential food dilemma arises, the trail provides; if only you have the patience. Newfound Gap proved to be one of those magical places. Pulled out of the woods to find trail magic of fresh fruit and soda. Once our small hiking group of Other Brother, Jeronimo, and Fly Boy popped a squat on the grassy clearing in the middle of the parking lot, we just sprawled out to soak in the sun. Minutes later another person came up with bananas. A few more minutes later, a tour bus pulls up and some gentle souls came over with Nature Valley bars they previously questioned their bus driver for. 30 minutes after, this couple comes up to us carrying a large tote full of hiker friendly meals and snacks to offer. Their section hiking plans fizzled out, leaving them with tons of food that would’ve gone to waste. I said magical, and it sure was one of those situations as I aquired enough food to get me through the Smokies and onward to Hot Springs.
I’ll spare you on some details, but overall my body is holding up pretty well to the trail. A few blisters are on my radar, but continually praying for no major injury.
It’s almost been a month of being immersed in trail life and our acceptance of our evolving physical changes into true hiker trash is comical in every way.
I’m dang proud of this picture below. Embarassing for the common civilian? Oh yes. But for the aspring thru-hiker, it’s the proof of what our own two feet can accomplish. The dirt has been an accumulation of 11 days sans shower…coming from the Nantahala Outdoor Center to Hot Springs NC. The result of trekking through the Smokies (around 70 miles) in 4 1/2 days.
It has seriously been challenging out here, but the highlights and the laughs, accomplishments, and the all together community has been the most fun to explore.
I was in Franklin, TN the first week of April. The Don and I were going to take a Nero day in town to resupply and satisfy our food cravings (see above), but an unexpected encounter of Baltimore Jack and Solace. Picked us up from the trailhead, shuttled us into town, took us to the best bisque breakfast place, Stamey’s, shuttled us to the outfitter, and back to town to hit up the Lazy Hiker Brewery. Both well known figures in the hiker community. Their bantering and comical conversations fueled our spirits. A shout out and thank you for your hospitality, backpacking tips, and encouragement.
I’ll just leave these here for your enjoyment…
Mileage update: 273.7
Health update: feeling strong. No Norovirus here, thank God.
Spirit update: Pumped that we are close to the 300 mi mark and more than halfway to Damascus, Va!
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