Clingmans Dome -> Hot Springs
Our last couple of days in the smokies were pretty lucky because it was sunny ALL WEEK. Only a few days before we were there it was snowing, so we lucked out hard. Clingmans Dome was an awesome farewell to the Smokies. The view from Clingmans makes me cry every time because it’s insanely beautiful. If you haven’t been to Clingmans Dome, you should definitely visit.
A few days after we left the Smokies, Flowers and I thought we’d do an easy day with only 6.5 miles (we did 18 the day before), but the joke was on us. After hiking for what seemed like forever, we came across the world’s best trail magic, and by that I mean there was liquor, hot dogs, burgers, and super cool people. Two vodka waters later, and we were hiking up to max patch. Getting drunk and hiking is not a good idea, but we were dreading the climb up to Max Patch. That being said, we still ended up at Max Patch which is probably the most epic view I’ve ever witnessed. We set up camp there, and I honestly thought my tent was going to break because of the wind. Not only is Max Patch one giant bald, but we also managed to camp there during a wind storm. Needless to say, taking our tents down in the morning was very difficult.
The next day, Kidney and I decided we wanted to try and push 20 miles into Hot Springs. With only 6.5 miles left we hit a road crossing where we met an older couple. Maryellen (the woman) invited us back to where her and her husband were staying which was apart of an artist residency. I had never heard of such a thing but it sounded like it could be a great time. Fast forward to the four of us drinking coffee while smoking a joint on their porch. They had a pot luck dinner that night, and I had never been around so many dreads in my life. Needless to say, saying yes to random things can sometimes be awesome.
When Kidney and I finally arrived in Hot Springs, we camped at Laughing Heart Hostel and met up with our other friends Flowers and Lux. We all did some laundry (we had to pay someone to do it because there was no laundromat) and then did our resupply. We ran into Promo, and the drinking began. All of us were in Hot Springs for two days, and between the actual hot springs and the wine, it was paradise. I definitely recommend visiting Hot Springs. It was a cool little town with awesome restaurants.
P.s. the diner in Hot Springs was delicious, and they had home-made jewelry and soaps for sale.
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