Miles hiked today: 12.8
Miles hiked total: 242.9
Miles to go: 1942.4
Today turned out to be a lot of fun. When we woke up in the morning, everything was frozen. My sneakers were so stiff I could barely get my feet in them. It was a struggle to get the laces tied. Wing It thankfully had toe warmers and gave me a pair to wear. Wing It for the win!
We got a late start because we were waiting for the sun to thaw things out, but eventually Stylez, Wing It, and I got antsy and needed to get moving. We probably started around 8:30. It was a lot of downhill and I moved faster than Wing It and Stylez and eventually got ahead of them. I was anxious to the get to the hostel, check in with my family, and pick up my mail drop. The hike out of the mountains was beautiful. The skies finally cleared and we were able to see the landscape around us, and everything was covered in a layer of snow.
I had to pee so badly on the way down the mountain, but didn’t want to stop before I reached Davenport Shelter (it was just a silly goal I set for myself. Davenport Shelter is also very close to the boundary of the Smokies). When I finally reached it, I was so excited that I literally almost peed my pants. I actually had to stop and cross my legs (heh, heh).
It got to I-40 around 1:00 and had no idea where to go. The AT crossed an interstate at this section and the trail was poorly marked. I probably wasted 15 minutes trying to figure out which direction to turn once I got out of the woods. I finally just started walking and crossed a bunch of streets and eventually found my way back into the woods again.
When I got to Standing Bear Farm, Townie was there and let me know that Meagan, Pipe, and Woodstock were all there and only a day ahead. I’m so happy to hear that Meagan is still on the trail! I haven’t seen her since I went into Franklin many weeks ago. I’m hoping to catch up with everyone in Hot Springs.
I originally was planning on staying at the hostel tonight, but after seeing it, I decided to hike on with the rest of the group. The hostel was a bit dirty (though I’ve been told it’s a great time) and I wasn’t interested in hanging around. I also had no cell service there, so I couldn’t check in with my family, which was my biggest reason for wanting to stay there, anyway.
We’re all staying at a campsite two miles past Standing Bear Farm. At the campsite tonight is Oliver and Twist (Oli’s back now that we’re out of the Smokies!), Simba, Stealth, Muffin Man, Boss, Wiki, Blacksmith, Stylez, Tigger, True Story, and Wing It.
Tomorrow’s an “up and down” day, but mostly “up”. It’s only 13 miles, though, so I won’t complain. The sun’s also supposed to be shining, so I’m happy!