Stretch—Days 10 to 18
April 24 – May 1
Day 10: 7.9 mi
I’m disappointed today since the guys are staying in Franklin again. Krusty and Musty needed the break for their knees and Duster and Grams decided to stay as well. I was getting depressed and broke in town so I had to go. My hopes are that we can meet up again. I got used to hiking with them and I’ll work to keep up my motivation without them. Molly and I made our way back to Rock Gap where we left off and were met with many challenges, the shuttle broke down in a no service area and we got the hitch lost. Tom and Huck told us later that after the shuttle driver left to cal l for help they got the van to start and hijacked it, they went up the road, picking up the driver and dropping themselves off at the gap. That’s pretty great.
Day 11: 11.6 mi
The day started out rainy but ended up pretty nice. We met and had a good time with Sabastian, now Ratatouille, and Freestyle the previous night and were able to see them at camp again today. Sashay is also a “new to us” hiker who is living the life. She’s Australian and has been hiking and traveling for the passed two years. It was a pretty social day with camping on top of a ridge. My tent got wet and I need to figure out a better way to pitch the fly to keep condensation out so I stay dry.
Day 12: 11.7 mi
Made it to NOC and caught back up to Tom and Huck. I had some good beer at the restaurant and a beer to-go. I totally lost my drinking tolerance and I’m not sad about that. Less beer I’ll have to drink later. We “stealth” camped along the river this night and it was nice and relaxing. $22 restaurant $5 beer
Day 13: 6.7 mi
Waiting at NOC for a mail drop most of the day. New shoes. Since my first pair of shoes broke and couldn’t tie correctly, they were giving me blisters. Luckily, since they were so new Brooks sent me a new pair. Later in the day I pushed up the biggest, longest uphill climb to catch back up with Molly, now Bookurrito. I got a late start on the trail because of the new ugly shoes but made it.
$1.75 for a shower although $1 of that the machine just ate, grrr…
Day 14: 15.2 mi
Made it up Jacobs Ladder which was hard but not terrible. I felt good today and had a burst where was able to do the last 6 miles in 2 hours. I still haven’t resupplied since Franklin, my food bag finally weighs less than 5-10 lbs. Yay!
Day 15: 6.6 mi
Made it to the Fontana Hilton and hung out most of the day. Did laundry and showered! I caused some chaos just before midnight. I woke up and threw up… I made it just outside the shelter. Worries of Norovirus spread fast. Luckily I think it was just indigestion. It was also good to know there were so many people who were concerned and tried to be helpful. Really, I’m just embarrassed.
Day 16: 16.8 mi
Most of the day I felt more tired than normal from the previous nights events. I was dehydrated and a little hungry but food still didn’t seem like a good idea so I only ate a little bit. It almost seems like I can hike on autopilot, so keeping pace, albeit slower, felt fine.
Day 17: 13.8 mi
The Smokies are so cold and the morning was rainy so it felt even worse. The ice today looked pretty awesome to make up for it though. There was a great fire when we got to camp which perked up our spirits.
Day 18: 10.8 mi
Rushed our way out of camp to make it to Gatlinburg today. We made it to Clingman’s Dome but couldn’t see anything. That should be the theme for the beginning of this trip. Can’t see much. On our way in we met with Godspeed, an amazing trail angel that not only gave us lunch and helped us find a ride to town. THANK YOU! We had a hard time making it to the grocery store in Gatlinburg since we got distracted by moonshine and wine sampling and because apparently “a trolley every half hour” is a phrase full of lies. We walked 2.5 miles there after waiting around for it and 45 minutes waiting for it on our away back.
$1.75 McDonalds $33 resupply $10 motel
Prepared Food and Alcohol: $28.75
Laundry and Shower: $318
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