2 purple moths
1 black butterfly
1 black and blue butterfly
It stormed pretty bad last night but we were dry and warm. The rain stopped and let us pack up Our things and head out. We walked on a dreary looking bald but would have been pretty cool looking if it had been sunny. We went to this little sorry excuse for a hostel to resupply. The hostel only held 6 and it was literally in a garage. We got what we needed and got out of there because they were also a trading post and they were showing off their guns. The owner came out front and shot off 6 shots into the woods with one gun and 4 with another. I was quite uncomfortable. As soon as a man pulled in, in a BMW Tomahawk asked if he would give us a ride back to the trail. The guy did and he ended up being a engineer for BMW. The sky started looking really gross and scary. I was afriad we weren't going to make it to camp before the rain started. We made it to camp without rain but the platypus broke. Now listening to the story. Goodnight.
1 bird that looked like a pigeon
Woke up late and took way too many breaks. The balds were marvelous and we had another really lucky day with no rain. It sprinkled a little today and the wind was insanely strong but otherwise I don't think we could have done a 20 mile day without the weather being the way it was. We got to camp super late and everyone was asleep already. Going into Erwin, TN tomorrow.
Made it in rather early and got a free ride from a guy who we met at Neels Gap weeks ago. We split rooms with the crew and did our town business. Miss Janet gave us a ride to Mexican and to get our laundry. Miss Janet drives hikers all over the AT whenever they need a ride. Her van is run on hikers tips alone. Its amazing the generousity people show to hikers. It really makes the tough days go over better We walked around town and Im assuming the locals here don't like the hikers. Some guy in a truck threw his burger wrapper out his window of his truck and hit me with it and drove off screaming something out the window. Plus the hotel guy was very rude and threatened us with the cops before we even checked in. I guess he was worried that because we have a big group we were going to be trouble. We hung out in the hotel room and watched movies.
Day 21 (3 weeks)
1 bear (I think)
3 red squirrels
Were staying with the British guys (shellback and trigger) and some new faces in the shelter. We had to cut it short today because we didnt want to have a wet tent if we didnt have to. The weather didn't predict rain but it definately looked like it was about to pour and as we headed into the shelter it started to rain and its now pouring. Plus its gotten really cold really fast. Its about 4:30 pm now and I can see my breath. We came to a turn in the trail and James and I stopped for just a second to catch our breath and James thought he heard a noise. So I started looking around and I saw something black in the tree so I kept looking at the tree trying to figure out if I was really seeing correctly. Whatever it was moved and it had brown on its face! I took of walking as fast as I could singing 'I don't like bears, no I don't. What was that? James are you back there?!' We saw 4 bears yesterday headed into town. Tourist are the reason it took so long to get to Clingmans Dome to get going today. Everyone just stopped their cars and were getting out to look at the bear. Rangers have their work cut out foe them out here. DIRECTING TOURIST TRAFFIC.
1 bunny rabbit (encounter)
We woke up early after a really noisey night in the shelter. We were up and going by 8:30. One of the northern guys that was getting off the trail today gave us each a snickers! This morning a bunny jumped right behind my feet in between James and I. He scammered to the side of the trail and sat and posed for me to take a picture. Im guessing it was the Easter Bunny. When we got to Newfound Gap we got trail magic. Coffee ans cupcakes. Once we used the real toliet and talked a little with curious tourist, we headed up to Charlies Bunion sharing the trail with about 100 daywalkers. Charlies Bunion was totally awesome! James crawled out as far as get could out on the farthest rock out and about gave me a panic attack. We got really cool pictures though. James also climbed the huge rock in the middle too. All of the daywalkers were staring and the kids were awed! Then we went to the unmarked side trail to the old Charlies Bunion. The sights were beautiful and we stopped and ate lunch up there. The rocks up there were iron looking.
2 red squirrels
Fall count: 4
We got going early (9:30). Were going to get some rain tonight/tomorrow. We saw some wonderful views today. The smokies have been so beautiful and camping in pine has been quite relaxing. Im sad to be leaving to smokies but kinda excited at tye same time that were moving on. Its a very crowded night here. Were hoping to get going early and beat everyone to the hostel. Were camping with a lot of different people tonight. English, German, Irish, Yankee. Fun fun. I've smiled and giggled too much today. Goodnight!
2 black and white birds
3 red squirrels
We woke up really early and left around 7:30. We blasted though the miles and got down to the gap before the trail magic we had heard about even set up. We crossed a really cool river and went under the i40 bridge and it looked like it was going to fall down soon. There was a lot of cement that had already fallen from the pillars. We got to Standing Bear hostle and got the treehouse for the night. Staying in a little kids treehouse for the night will be fun! We got our package from Brian and Scott came and met us with our poles. Scott and Debra have done so much for us on this trip I don't know how I will ever repay them for all this wonderful help. We met some really cool people tonight and I hope we can stick with this group! (Tomahawk, Shane, Dr. Vargus, and Arie). The treehouse at Standing bear is magical!
3 purple moths
1 black moth with a horizontal white line
Today was so awesome. Last night Joe/Dr. Vargus dared Arie to carry 2 horseshoes or tell the gayest man out here that he loves him. Sooo Arie is carrying 2 horseshoes to Katadin! We walked up Max Patch today. It was so beautiful. The grass was so fluffy and soft. When we all had gotten to camp, set up and eaten we went on top of Max Patch and watched the sunset and laid and looked at the millions of stars. Its crazy to look and realize how small we as humans are. I totally fell asleep up there until James woke me up to go to the tent. Were now apart of a huge group, right nnow there are 8 of us plus a group behind us that has about 9. Shane is reading us a bedtime story.
5 black butterflies
1 white butterfly
1 purple moth
1 weird mole looking thing
HAPPY 2YR ANNIVERSARY BEBE!
We woke up so some feel good music someone was playing on their speaker. We packed up slowly and walked a bit slower today. James has blisters on his feet and he seemed a little tired today in fact hes already snoring at 8:10pm. It took a lot to get over some of those huge hills today. Were headed into Hot Springs tomorrow. I heard they have a hiker burger but I would rather have Mexican. I had to try way harder than necessary to not eat my muffins and oreos that are for breakfast. Im so tired and sore. I hope we can catch up with the guys we've been with. Were going to wake up early so that we can get a good full day in Hot Spring.
Day 27 (1 month)
Got up and going in between rain spouts this morning. The up sucked and my calves are sore again but the rest of the hike into Hot Springs was nice. The Laughing Heart hostel was right as you came off the trail so we got a private room, went shopping and ate at the diner. The breakfast was really good. I loved the Katadin pictures hanging on the walls of the place. They even had a vending machine with old u.s. coins and old forgein coins in it. I thought that was interesting. We found our friends and some really nice lady named Sally and her husband Ike was letting them stay there and invited us to dinner. We had 14 people eating dinner all together on a huge table on her front porch. We had a very delicious salad picked from her garden and huge plate of spaghetti.
2 yellow and black butterflies
Woke up to a rowdy hostel but we still tried to sleep in as long as possible. We packed up and went to Sallys house to see if the crew had left yet or not. They hadn't and we were invited to another delicious breakfast at Sallys. The guts decided to take a zero anf Sally invited us to stay at her house. So we all hung out and did work around the house. After some chores we went swimming in the river in the back tars. I sat and worked on my awful tan while James and Tomahawk tubed down the rapids, it looked like a lot of fun but the water was frigid. Sally left to meet a friend in ATL but she asked ha to stay and cook for her husband while she was gone. Most of us wanted to go try the hiker burger so Ike came with us to the diner. I had a mushroom Swiss burger. It was quite yummy. After eating we all walked down to the pub and everyone got beers and James and I took advantage of the bars wifi. Then James and I left and went back to the house and looked at the stars then later went inside and listened to the radio until we fell asleep.
1 emerald colored beetle
We got up in time to set the table for breakfast. Ike and Sally were very generous to help us out. Sally explained to me before she left to go to ATL that a lot of the locals don't like the hikers and they don't understand that if the AT didn't run through the middle of their town they wouldn't have any money. Sally directs the Hikerfest in Hot Springs to educate children about the world. She told me that a lot of the children in Hot Springs never leave and don't understand how big the world is. After breakfast I did the dishwasher for the crew and then we all left. I pretty much let myself go a little slow today. My calves felt like they were going to pop for hours. Once we got to camp we all jokes around and listened to the radio. Shames reading us 'The Alchelmist' until we all fall asleep. I love story time everynight especially since I dont have to carry the book.
1 yellow and black butterfly
3 purple moths
It started raining finally when we were already too far down the 'exposed ridge trail' to turn back so we just hurried. The thunder up there was terrifing. Once we were almost off the top the sun came out and the rain just stopped. It was very odd. When we got to camp we found out that everyone else took the bad weather trail so we got to see apart of the trail no one else in our group got to see. Im so excited about how much food I can eat tomorrow. Im hungry and tired. Hiker life.