As soon as you leave Springer Mountain, your count begins. Some count up: 1,2,3, etc. and some count backwards: 2181, 2180, 2179, etc. Every mile is a milestone when thru-hiking the AT; every mile counts and we count every mile especially mile 110.
What’s the big deal? Well, that’s a great question. Let me sum it up for you. Awesome people, hiker friendly, Amish Wagon Deli, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Trail Days, Lazy Hiker Brewery, Rosebud Cottage, showers, good food, and a well known gem, Outdoor 76.
Outdoor 76 co-owners, Rob and Cory will rock your world with knowledge, re-supplies, holding on to your mail drop, several craft beers on tap, and the most important element of a hikers existence, footwear. When it comes to feet, Rob is hands down the most knowledgeable, thorough prescriber of new hiking shoes. I once heard him say, “I don’t sell shoes, I prescribe shoes.” I call him my “foot guru”, but don’t tell him that.
If you seek hiking footwear, enter Outdoor 76 with an open mind and a pinch of amnesia; you must leave your prior shoe conceptions in a 6″ hole, buried, and left behind. My entire family has received the “Rob Treatment and Prognosis”.
Here is how my “experience” went down. I had never hiked before and needed sturdy shoes as I was planning on being the hiker of hikers. I did not bury my shoe conceptions in a cat hole; BIG MISTAKE. I sat down with Rob, one of the nicest guys I have met, and we played a round of 20 Questions, only I did not get to ask any questions, however; my answers sounded something like this: I run, no I have never hiked, I don’t want things on my ankles, I have no idea what seasons, I don’t like my feet to be sweaty, I have to get naked? What? My feet are atrocious, well it matters to me, OK, OK, I need shoes, just don’t talk about me after I leave. After recuperating from stripping in public, being handles gently, and analyzed completely, I was ready for Rob’s prognosis and prescription. I found out that I over pronate, one foot is chubbier than the other, and my arches are very high. I was given three trail runners to choose from, all solid shoes, all fit great (no, they were not the size I normally buy hence the reason your foot conceptions need to be left behind). I decided on Solomon Trail Runners.
These are the best shoes I have ever worn. I will never go anywhere else for hiking footwear needs. Thank goodness I have relatives who live in Franklin.
I have been VERY pleased with these shoes. I never had blisters or hot spots; I wear Darn Tough 1/4 Sock Cushion style socks all year round to hike in. I do not use liners as I do get blisters with them.
Whether you are in town for a resupply and are thinking of new trail hikers because your first 7-10 days on the trail have been miserable in the footwear department, stop in to Outdoor 76 at mile 110.
Take care of those feet, they are your mode of transportation; keep them happy!
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