The NOC to Erwin, Tennessee
Things have been crazy out here. I have (clearly) had a hard time documenting things like I would like to. We have made it 342 miles in and we are now in Erwin! I am sitting at the computer at Uncle Johnny’s hostel. I scored a shower here, some sock liners, TP, and an ice cream sandwich. BOOYAH! This is what has been going on out here. If you’d like to hear the details just contact me and I will give you anything you’d like to know!
Alright.. We left the NOC after rafting down the Nantahala. Unfortunately, Kaveman, Zoltan, and myself had to leave Keebler behind as he was pretty sick. He ended up riding home and got back out a week later. So far he is still trying to catch up and we are trying not to bust out too many big mile days to make it easier on him. WE expect he should be in Hot Springs, about 5 days behind, at this point.
We cruised quickly to Fontana Village, busting out a 20 miler to make it in to town. We split a room with Twig, aka Powdered Chee or Shelter Turd. Yes, Shelter Turd… Great dude. Shred the GNAR, Twig! We had burgers, beers, and enjoyed sleeping in a bed and getting a shower. The first half of the Smokies we breezed through. First full week of beautiful weather on the trip! High elevation hiking, a lot different than the BMT through the Smokies. Clingman’s Dome was awesome! It was cool to look back and see all the mountains we had climbed to get there.
Next was Gatlinburg.. Oh man. I never want to go back to Gatlinburg. I had a blast, of course, but I swear I spent more money there than in every other town combined. We zeroed which my feet needed but were happy to make it out the next day. The next half of the park was very cool hiking. We had one day where we didn’t come below 5000 feet for the entire hike. A little bit of rainy weather but still incredible. We met Kaleidoscope our last night in the park.
Zoltan, Kaleidoscope, Kaveman, Ghengis and myself all pushed a good 18 mile day to the stream by Standing Bear hostel. Beers, pizza, burgers, chilling with other hikers. It was great. WE zeroed the next day because Kaleidoscope’s mom came to visit. Hot dogs, beers, chicken chili, and a night stay in a hotel! Score! She is an awesome trail mom.
After getting back to the trail we push almost the way to Max Patch where were greeted by The Accomplices. A bluegrass band that came to do trail magic. And they did it well! Keg of IPA, sausages on the grilll, and live music! It coulodnt have gotten any better until we caught the sunset on Max Patch anf sun rise the next morning. WE banged out 20 miles the next day and made it into Hot Springs where I had probably the wildest time that I have had in a long time.
Now, I’m not much of a partying type but when I do, I usually make it worth it. This is how it went.. The Accomplices at Spring Creek Tavern with about 30 hikers, to the Mexican place next door for karoki (as Glacier-Swiss would call it) until about 2 am. the next day.. our third zero in 7 days. Oops! At least we are knocking out good mileage. The next night a bluegrass music festival where we danced and had a hell of a time. We literally had to make ourselves leave town in order to not spend too much money the next day.
We hiked out 5 miles before we stumbled across the Beltane festival in the woods nearby. This was the craziest part. I’d be willing to go into a little more detail about this one if you ask me about it!
For now though, that about catches you up! Sort of.. i mean this barely does the last couple of weeks justice. Just get out here and see for yourself 🙂
Thanks to the person who took my featured image photo! I couldn’t use my own on this hostel computer.
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