Chrissy and I got a shuttle to Gatlinburg around 10:00 this morning. The shuttle ride was close to 2 hours and was one of the most entertaining and informative shuttle rides I’ve ever had. Vesna was our shuttle driver and she also leads guided hikes through the Smokies. She told me and Chrissy all about the park and what to expect and what to look for while hiking. She gave me advice on which shelters to stay in and which to pass up and she also gave us great advice on restaurants and which ones cater to vegans and people with food restrictions.
She told us to check out the Mellow Mushroom in Gatlinburg so that was the first place we visited after checking into our room. And boy am I glad we took her advice! The restaurant offered gluten-free, vegan pizza and I ordered a 12″ pie and ate the whole thing in one siting. I was so hungry! It’s the first meal I’ve eaten in town that has left me completely satisfied. I should have ordered one to go to bring with me on the trail tomorrow, but I wasn’t thinking. Oh well!
After lunch, we swung by the outfitters and picked up my mail drop. While we were walking everywhere, we just kept snapping pictures of all the wacky businesses and buildings we passed. Gatlinburg definitely is a tourist trap! It felt like being in Hollywood and Disney World at the same time.
We also had to run to the grocery store to pick up a few items as well as some requested things for Toasted Toad. We walked close to 3 miles to the grocery store and decided that that was a ludicrous thing to do on a Zero day, so we took a trolley back to our motel when we were done shopping instead.
We spent the rest of the night showering and organizing our things – Chrissy is going to bring some items I no longer need back to NH for me. Despite sending some items home, my pack seems to be getting heavier and heavier! It’s not a comfortable feeling.
Oh well! Summer will be here soon enough and all my cold-weather gear will be switched out for lighter gear then. Things to look forward to!
Tomorrow, the Smokies!