We hiked into Hot Springs, NC yesterday morning just in time for breakfast at the Smoky Mountain Diner. It is amazing that when I am out on the trail I just don’t have much of an appetite, but when I get to town it turns on big time.
Right off the trail, to the left, is the Laughing Heart Hostel, which is managed by Chuck and Tigger Norris. I stopped in and enjoyed a brief conversation and a cup of good coffee before heading in to town. Though we planned on checking out Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn, we never even saw it. There isn’t a sign posted, but I just heard it is across the street from the diner. We ended up staying at the Iron Horse Inn (in the rooms across the street over the Spring Creek Tavern). The accommodations are nice, unfortunately there isn’t any AC yet and it is warm here in NC already.
This past week has been incredible. The trail on the mountains go up up up and then of course down down down. Coming out of the Standing Bear Farm Hostel was a very torturous long up and then several more ups and downs all the way to Max Patch (watch the video) and then I still had about a mile to complete the very difficult 14.8 mile day. Thankfully the next day was a beautiful 15.4 mile walk in the park. There were three good hills, but with the more mellow switchbacks it was more than an hour shorter than the day before.
My hike time is interspersed with many stops to take pictures of the flowers and distant mountains. I have seen so many different types of wildflowers and stop to take a picture when I see a new type and also when I see a spectacular blanket of blossoms. Pictures can be seen on my AT Jann 2012 page.
Our next stop in six days is in Erwin, TN where my mom will pick us up for a couple days off the trail. Then on to Damascus, VA though we are looking for a hostel or two to stay at for a night, resupply, (and shower) along the way.
On the trail I hike until I stop for the night and time seems to go by very quickly. And when in town for a zero day, time goes by so slowly. And I had the idea that my life would slow down on the trail, I guess I am just in the flow out on the trail – and boy don’t I love it.
I am fast approaching 300 miles on the 2,184 mile Appalachian Trail and would love to reach $3,000 for my fund raising by then. If you haven’t already made a donation please consider donating today. All donations are 100% tax-deductible and 100% goes to the construction fund for a new 20 guest-room Fisher House in Denver. To ensure your name and donation shows up under my Team Fisher House efforts please make your donation at the bottom of my page.