Miles hiked today: 3.8
Miles hiked total: 109.8
Miles to go: 2075.5
Chrissy and I took a Nero day today and enjoyed a nice day in Franklin, NC, where we resupplied and caught up with a bunch of our new friends.
We got up early in the morning and hiked the short 3.8 miles to Winding Stair Gap with Oliver and Twist. We booked it to the gap with the intention of catching the 11:00 shuttle to our motel, and completely overestimated how long it would take us to hike the four miles and ended up at the gap at 9:45. We called the motel to see if we could be picked up earlier, but were told we’d have to wait for the 11:00 shuttle because the driver was unavailable. We put our bags down and started to get comfortable when a man driving a truck pulled up and offered us trail magic. In the back of his truck he had fresh fruit, orange juice, coffee, and other goodies, and everyone at the gap quickly devoured everything. Orange juice is always delicious, but especially after spending a couple of nights in the woods!
The shuttle to the motel turned up a couple of minutes later, way ahead of schedule. Everyone piled in and the shuttle took us to Havens Budget Inn. Chrissy and I split a room with Oliver and Twist, and after checking in we quickly got our clothes washed, showered, and then Chrissy, Twist, and I met up with Wing It for lunch. We decided to go to the Rosebud Cottage because AWOL’s guide said it was a vegan restaurant….It was not. Even their salads featured cheese (and often times, meat). I have no idea what AWOL was thinking, but don’t go there expecting vegan cuisine! However, it was an adorable little restaurant that had the air of an Alice-in-Wonderland tea party, and they were able to sauté a side of veggies for me to eat with my salad, so I was more than satisfied.
After lunch, we took a 4:00 shuttle (provided by our motel) to the local outfitters and then to Walmart to resupply. As I was getting out of the van at the outfitters, my shorts got caught on the door and all I heard was a terribly loud ripping sound. I looked down and the right side of my shorts was completely detached from my waistband and just hanging by my side. Thankfully my shorts have built in spandex so I wasn’t completely naked or anything, but I had to awkwardly tuck the leg into my waistband while we were shopping. I decided to just try to repair them instead of buying a new pair, so I finally got to use the floss and needle I packed with me. Dental floss is surprisingly very strong and is currently holding my shorts together very nicely!
At Walmart, I finally bought some sunblock, so I’m hoping this will put a halt to all future burns.
After we resupplied, Wing It, Chrissy, and I grabbed dinner at a Mexican Restaurant, and we all loaded up on food. The hiker hunger hasn’t really set in yet, but I have been trying to get in as many healthy calories as possible when I’m in town, since I’ve basically just been eating oatmeal and rice on the trail (which has been delicious, but not super high in calories).
After dinner, everyone in town seemed to gravitate towards our room. Wing It, Beans (Jay from my earlier post – he finally got his trail name), Simba, Muffin Man, and Twist all drank a few beers outside. Most of the gang are planning to zero tomorrow because rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast, but Wing It, Chrissy, and I are planning to push on. Here’s to hoping the forecast is wrong! Hiking while it’s lightning outside is bloody horrifying, and I’m really hoping to delay this scenario as long as possible!