Planning to be Spontaneous
Roaring fork shelter to Deer Park Mountain Shelter
Days miles: 14.8
Total trip miles: 270.7
I don’t know what happened.
Deer Park Mountain Shelter to Hot Springs, NC
Days miles: 3.2
Total trip miles: 270.7
Got picked up by Sister and we went into Asheville. Asheville is the best place ever! I loved it. We walked around, and every place we walked by was a place I wanted to go into. We did Farm Burger for lunch and had nachos at Asheville Brewing and pizza for lunch #2, went to see Divergent (it wasn’t good but I loved it anyway because Tobias is hot and I just read all the books since I’ve been out here), and then spent the rest of the night at Wicked Weed Brewing. We decided at 9pm that we could probably find a place to stay in Asheville instead of paying $30 for the hostel. Appalachian Trials blogger Evans hooked us up with his friend Adam, who let us stay on his couch. It was the best. I snuck a shower in the morning. Shh… Don’t tell.
Devil Fork Gap to Jerry Cabin Shelter
Days Miles: 8.7
Total trip miles: 279.4
Sis and I headed back to Hot Springs from Asheville to catch a shuttle that would take us 35 miles north of Hot Springs. The plan was to hike without a tent, sleep in shelters, and do 15 miles and 20 miles with a super light pack. Half slack packing. We hiked 8 miles and then thought our time would be better spent just hanging out instead of hiking. She set up the hammock, we played some Bananagrams, Kenny, Jessica, Alex, Majestic, and Sean showed up, and we had a lovely day.
Jerry Cabin Shelter to Allen Gap
Days miles: 11.6
Total trip miles: 291
Today was supposed to be our 20 mile day but we did 12 to Allen Gap and hitched back to Hot Springs. The truth is…well the truth is that I skipped 15 miles of the trail. But I’m okay with that. I got lost for 11 miles the other day (I call it blue-blazing for 11 miles) and I’m sure I’ll get lost somewhere else along the way for at least another 4 so it will all even out and I had a great time so it was worth it. I left my trekking poles at Moms, a store at Allen Gap, and Alexa had to bring me back once we reached her car in Hot Springs. Moms is like an abandoned building that a woman put a cooler into and bought a few cases of soda to put in there as well as some muffins, crackers, and candy lined up on the counter. A lot of people in the area said it wasn’t open, when indeed it was. I was worried she would have closed by the time we got there, but I got lucky and she had my trekking poles waiting for me. Sis and I had time to drink a few homebrews before she dropped me off at a hostel. I heard someone call my name when I got here which was really surprising because it’s five days between Hot Springs, NC and the next town of Erwin, TN. Everybody stops in Hot Springs and prepares to hike five days to Erwin. As it happens, Sean rolled his ankle and ended up at the hostel. We were the only ones staying there. The hostel was actually really cool. Simple, but everything you need. It’s pricey but I was okay with that because I got to watch movies. The burger that hostel owner Mark made me for dinner was the best I’ve had yet. He has a really great field for tent camping, a fire pit, log stools around it, and a clothes line. It made me sad that the camping area and bunkhouse weren’t full because it would be so much fun if they were. The bunkhouse has room for six, a kitchen table, and a small flat screen for movies. Sean and I watched The Internship, the Hunger games, and Catching Fire. I needed movies.
Devil Fork Gap to Low Gap campsite
Days Miles: 12.1
Total trip miles: 321.1
I woke up this morning, took a shower, and ate a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich while I watched Catching Fire. Sean and I headed out in a shuttle at 9:30. I got dropped off at the trail and he went to Erwin to see the doctor. Unfortunately he’ll be off the trail for a couple of weeks while his ankle heals. I think the flies are getting worse. They get in my ears and nose, they fly into my eyes and my mouth. They get stuck in my forehead sweat and in my hair. I picked six out of my hair in the few minutes it took me to eat dinner. I don’t know what’s up with them. Somebody said if you kill them, more come.
Low Gap campsite to Erwin, TN
I hiked with Honey Badger today. We talked about going to Erwin for Mexican food and then getting back on the trail. We got picked up by Miss Janet (she’s Appalachian Trail famous) and ate Mexican food with her. She left and Honey Badger and I had a few drinks. Long story short… we went to Walmart, Honey Badger accidentally stole Skittles and beef jerky, and it was a big ordeal. I broke a bottle of whiskey on the floor, and we left at midnight and camped behind the Walmart. I’m not entirely sure what I bought for food this next week or how many days worth of food I have. I do know that I got a giant container of yogurt, a bag a chocolate chips, dinosaur eggs oatmeal, and a gallon of juice. We never made it back to the Trail, and we won’t be making up the miles that we skipped. Miss Janet talked to us about thoroughly hiking instead of thru hiking. The truth is, it’s not about the miles. It’s about hiking your own hike and enjoying your vacation.
Days miles: 0
Woke up this morning to lawn mowers near where we were sleeping. I was nervous they were going to run me over. We packed up and left and headed to the Walmart parking lot for a ride. Gavin, an Australian man, picked us up and took us into town. He’s working on a TV series about small houses or something on A&E. Honey Badger left his whiskey in the back of his car. Between the two of us, we managed to lose 3 fifths of unopened whiskey. Hanging out at Uncle Johnny’s right now. I’m thinking I’ll stay here tonight, go out to dinner again, and slack pack tomorrow. I’ll start saving money after tomorrow.
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