Tennessee: Beautiful Waterfalls, Bad Weather, Abundant Trail Magic
It’s been a while since our last blog post, and it feels like a lifetime since we left Hot Springs. We are now at mile 468, which means we covered 195 miles since then! We are so excited about our progress and feel like we’ve really gotten into the groove of trail life.
In our past 195 miles, we’ve seen some truly breathtaking views, made many new friends, experienced snow, rain and thunderstorms, walked through balds, green tunnels, ridges, rivers, dams, and enjoyed our first Trail Days festival.
Tennessee has been by far been our favorite state so far! The terrain has been much more gentle (still difficult, of course, but easier), and it’s ever changing. Some days you’re in the forest the whole day, some days your walking through open fields and beside a river, or next to a lake. The waterfalls and rivers are crystal clear and beautiful, not to mention incredibly refreshing on a hot day. The views from the balds were breathtaking.
But let’s talk about the real reason Tennessee rocked our socks off. Two words: TRAIL MAGIC. The generosity of trail angels in Tennessee is unbelievable. We’ve gotten everything from grilled chicken, to pancakes, to an all-you-can-eat taco buffet, and everything in between. And getting a hitch has never been easier! People ask you if you need a ride before you even stick your thumb out.
Since there’s way too much to cover individually, and I’m a slacker, AND I love lists, we’re going to do a fun little list of the most ridiculous things that have happened to us on the trail so far!
- It snowed about 6-8 inches on us on Cinco de Mayo, when we camped on Roan Mountain. Snowed! That day will live on in infamy for the hikers who experienced it.
- We rode in the back of a pickup truck up a very curvy mountain road that belonged to a man who was either trying to terrify us for his own enjoyment or was just that bad of a driver.
- We listened to an 18 year old hiker throw up right outside our tent all night. We won’t go into the reasons for his upset stomach…
- We came to a gap and saw a tent and sign that said: TACO BUFFET. I wish we could’ve recorded our faces and the speed at which we ran to that tent.
- We camped .2 miles from some trail angels who fed us a pasta dinner, and then went back the next morning for their pancake breakfast. Bless.
- We got a hitch off Roan Mountain during the snow-pocalypse from a guy who was traveling to Philadelphia and living out of the back of his Subaru. We immediately went to Bob’s Dairyland and shared a lunch of delicious, juicy burgers.
- We hiked 15 miles in 5 hours, just to get to Trail Days by 2:00.
- We sat outside of a Food City and ate a pint of ice cream during a passing thunderstorm.
- We got a beekeeping lesson from the place we stayed at in Erwin, TN.
- Josh’s iphone died completely and we had to get a new one sent to Damascus.
- We got interviewed by Farm to Feet socks to be featured on the packaging of their new socks. And we got 3 pairs of new socks from them!!
That’s just some of the ridiculousness/awesomeness that we’ve experienced on the trail so far! I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
We have enjoyed Trail Days so much! Getting to relax in Damascus and celebrate my birthday here has been such a treat! The town truly loves thru hikers and so do the vendors. Shout out to One Way Church for the free foot massages!
Also, thank you to Martha and Sam for picking us up, feeding us, giving us a bed to sleep in, and allowing us to use your jacuzzi tub!! We appreciate your hospitality more than you know!
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