Jason and I are now at mile 272, in the absolutely lovely town of Hot Springs. It’s small, but it has a great big heart. Nothing but smiles, a lot of conversation, and some great grub. If you are ever in the area, visit ArtiSun Gallery and chat it up over some fair-trade coffee with “Sunrise”, the owner and a thru-hiker from ’02. Try the ginger kombucha, it’s made locally! We have a short video interview with her (actually, we have MANY videos to upload) that I will post as soon as I find a computer that will allow me to upload video (Oh, how I wish I’d bounce-boxed my netbook).
We need to give some superspecial love and thanks to the folks at The Carolina Hiking Club and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club for all the snacks they lavished on us. Chow-tastic! Speaking of Chow, we need to shout out to our friend “ChowBear Claw” who decided to leave the trail. We wish you had rocked out a bit with us, dude. For real. The Crew at Double Spring really rocked our socks. Big-ups to Karen Gergely, we’ll see you in WV for sure! High-five to Carter, Al, Doug the Ridgerunner, Trey the Intern, “Samwise” and “Frodo”, Greg and Julie (We hope to at least catch-up with you two after we flip! Message me if you see this!), “2Cents”, “Pilgrim”,
My trail name is “Tortoiseshell”, Jason is “Kool Breeze”. The inspiration for both names came from our pace on the trail 🙂
Clingman’s Dome- Highest point on the AT- Awesome, but we mislaid our cameras! Trail hunger had us SOOOO disoriented for a good minute in there.
On Friday, we met the movie star Andie McDowell at Tri-Corner Knob Shelter! She was hiking with some friends on a side trail and was staying there for the night. Andie (which is not her real name, btw) was really sweet, her friends were pretty neat. They were nice enough to share their trail mix, moonshine, and wild turkey with us. Good times.
Clocked our first twenty-mile day on Saturday. Whew!
Name of the game out here is “Watch Your Feet”. I took two big spills out here- haven’t skinned my knees with so much dirt since I was a kid 🙂
I’ve been writing, not much, but I feel like the coils are heating up. At least a small chapbook of bad nature haiku on the horizon, for sure.
I have maybe seen four African-Americans in the past month. Maybe five, and they were all in trail towns. The AT and the stores around it seem to cater to mostly white males. Where are all the brown people at? I will need to put my musings on this in a separate blog entry, I could go on for a good minute more about this. I knew I was signing up for a pretty homogeneous experience, but I was/am super-floored to find SO little diversity.
(I’m like a unicorn out here, guys. A unicorn.)
We’re doing great on all major fronts right now, knock on wood. Next resupply is in Erwin, TN next week, where we will catch a bus to ride up to Maine (and meet J’s mom!) for the hike South. This means that all my New England peeps need to dust off their gear and get ready in the next two weeks to hike with us!