Over the highest point!

Day 35

Double Spring Gap Shelter to Newfound Gap, and into Gatlinburg 10.5 – miles AT mile 208

Card of the day – 3 of Swords

So in the middle of the night I managed to fall out of bed when I went to go pee!  Ouch.  Subzero checked in and I told him I was fine.

The alarms started from around 5am, with people wanting to hit Clingmans Dome for sunrise.  I however got up at 7am.  I’m not one for hiking in the freezing cold and the dark.  It also meant that today I’ll be hiking alone.

Clingmans Dome! That last 0.7 was a killer, but it was a nice spot and walking up the tower at the top was an experience.  It was quite icy and I’m glad I left my pack at the bottom.

There is a joke that from Clingmans it’s all down hill, with it being the highest point on the trail.  However the mile up to the first shelter proved that to be very wrong.  It was so hard.

The walking today was through a wild environment.  It was truly beautiful in its own way but looked like something out of a horror movie.

I walked into Indian Grave Gap and there was trail magic from Tie dye goat and sunflower – they are supporting Shades that I met the other day and Tiedye goat remembered me from Hiawassee when I had sunburn! They had taken the rest of the crew into town earlier that day.

I carried on hiking to Newfound Gap where a local Baptist church were doing trail magic.  They also gave me a lift to town which was good of them.

Gatlingburg whilst not a hiker town, would be fantastic if Blackpool is your thing.  It’s 21 degrees at 5pm.  How is that even possible given the snow from the day before!

There is not a laundry and only a wall greens to resupply, but with that and the outfitter I was able to get every thing I needed.

I met Howie in the NOC! He’s alive!  He had left the shelter at about 5pm to get to Clingmans Dome to get a shuttle to town to try and get his phones fixed.  I walking out into that weather at that time is never a good idea but he made it work for him!

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