Onward to North Carolina

Zero Day

We had a fabulous Zero day in Hiawassee on Wednesday.   Got to the Holiday Inn Express, made it to Monte Alban Mexican Restaurant, there I destroyed some chips and guacamole.  Had some great tacos and margaritas too.  For those of you who don’t know what a zero day is, that means a day off, zero miles.  A Nero is just a few miles.  Our room was at the end of the hall near the stairs.  Sherri pointed out out to me when we were leaving that the stairs where right there, I said ” I’m not doing the stairs”.  Normally I would.  But the way Billy Bob sees it, the stairs are kind of like the approach trail, they don’t count, so I ain’t doing them.  We went to the outfitters, got a couple of things, looked for a phone case, have to order one, the phone stores only have the latest model phones.  Big shout out to Mike in Cleveland at IT Phone and Computer Repair for getting my phone back to me (Sherri) on Monday).  Definitely a blessing in disguise that that happened early on and not later.  The phone is like new and better  than before.  We went to Hiawassee Brewing Company on Wednesday night. It was fantastic, they had music trivia, 90’s was the first round, my buddy Trey Futch would have cleaned up.  Had fish and chips and some good beer and it was fantastic.

Billy Bob and Heat Man Getting Started Again

The People That You Meet

So, one of the best things about the trail so far is the people that you meet.  I have met people from Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, and Australia.  I have met Louie, Old School, Ed the Pilgrim, Steve, Sean, Bowen, Fearless, Abigail, Jazz, Ivan, Still Water, Bumble and Pops.  When we got to Dicks Creek, Sherri ferried several people back and forth the Hiawassee.  Made some good friends.  Just ran into Old School, and Pops here in Franklin on our Nero.  I have had some good conversations with some people.  One thing that has struck me is that the first person that I met, that I had more than a 60 second conversation with was Ed, The Pilgrim.  Since Luke died, I had been under the impression that me and God were mad at each other.  One of the reasons that I am out here is to try and sort that out.  After talking to Ed, it turns out he has been in the Mental Health field for over 30 years.  He knew a lot about mental health, bi-polar disorder, suicide, etc.  His wife either works for or is a volunteer for NAMI, whom is the beneficiary of our Cornhole Tournament we do every year.  I take it as a sign that maybe God isn’t mad at me.  Maybe I shouldn’t be mad at him.

Georgia Kicks You in the Butt on the Way Out, and NC Kicks You in the B#lls on the Way In

That’s what Louie said.  He was right.  Big climb after they dropped us off at Dick’s Creek to get back on trail.  Tough miles and big climbs, but we were doing 12 miles a day, which I was happy with.  Had some more pleasant camping for a couple of days.  Great views.  After the big climb, it seems like in NC, it was more once you got up high, you stayed up high for a quite a while.  Put in a few 12 mile days and seem pretty comfortable with that.  I am very pleased that the body, feet, and knees seem to be doing well.  12 miles in tough terrain I am feeling pretty good about.  Eventually have to do more, but right now, I will take it.  Got to work into it.

The climb to the Fire Tower was Pretty Tough


But the View was Fantastic!


Billy Bob Getting Water

Weather was good for a few days, then rain came thru Friday night.  Packed up in the light rain and headed out with pack covers.  Wasn’t long before the sun came out and some more pleasant weather and good views.  Hit our first Fire Tower on top of Albert Mountain.  Check out the 360 video from the Fire Tower on Instagram @Billybobhikes.

Nice View of Nantahala Forest

Heat Man on a Roll

Made it to Rock Gap on Saturday, which was within 4 miles of Winding Stair Gap where we had planned a resupply in Franklin.  However, the rain being pushed by a strong cold front came in about 2 AM.  The abode made it thru the night well enough but it was a tough hammock hang off the edge of a raised tent pad on the side of a steep hill.  I have a piece of visqueen I put under my hammock to put my pack and shoes on under the tarp.  Because I didn’t have much real estate underneath me, it got to close to the edge and  made a muddy mess from splashing.  Lesson learned.

Know When to Call an Audible

We packed in the rain, again, and headed to Winding Stair Gap in the rain.  No views, unless you like clouds, because we were definitely walking in the clouds.  Wet, mid 40’s and down in the low 30’s that night, which didn’t sound very appealing if your going to town for a resupply.  So, we decided to take a Nero, 4 miles, sleep in a bed in the warm and hit it the next day.  Weather will be improving the next few days.

Billy Bob Thumbing a Ride to Franklin

Big shout out to Emmanuel for picking us up and taking us to the Hampton Inn in Franklin.  Our first trail angel!  Sherri and Lori were going to meet us, but were behind our schedule.  We were cold and wet.  We hit the hot bar at Ingles, the Lazy Hiker Brewery where we ran into Old School and bought him a beer and then had Mexican at Las Margaritas.


Next stop, Nantahala Outdoor Center!

Until Tomorrow!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • Trey Futch : Apr 26th

    Thanks for the shout out – I can always help with trivia and beer!!! Godspeed Billy Bob!


What Do You Think?