I am sitting on a snowy log posting this. My butt is cold. I hope y’all appreciate the things I go through for you 😉
Well I didn’t sleep great at standing bear. Maybe I just need to hike for 20 miles to sleep well. Haha wouldn’t that just be the thing.
Anyways, I woke up and chatted with Gator and Drifter for a bit, then grabbed some food from the resupply (chips and an oatmeal cream pie. No cool ranch Doritos though). I settled up with lumpy and said goodbye.
Lumpy and Gator in the bunkhouse
I’d freaked myself out last night about the climb into the smokies. I’d even texted Gonzo about it. Of course, he’d replied “ahh you’ve got this,” because, I guess, Gonzo either 1. Thinks everything is easy or 2. Thinks I’m capable of anything. But gator confirmed that it wouldn’t be that bad. And once I got started it seemed they were both right.
The weather was beautiful and I was cruising. Then I fell.
I ran into a few section hikers and chatted for a bit. They were all guys and they all thought I was crazy for planning on going to Tricorner Knob today. One guy even asked if I was sure that’s where I was headed. Dude, I’m good at walking. I learned from the best. (Listen to how cocky I am now. One 23 mile day and I’m top dog lol.)
Davenport gap shelter.
I ran into four college guys, two former boyscouts. They thought they were top notch backpackers…until they met me. “You look like you have half the stuff we have and you’re out for way longer!” “You’re going 18 miles today?!?”
They had one friend who was just dead after 8 miles, so I told them that that’s how I was after my first trip….last July. That killed them. I had fun chatting with them and generally being a badass hiker who impressed the snot out of them AND hiked super fast (I said goodbye to them at a stream, then ran into them as I came back from the Mt Cammerer side trail, which is .75 miles). They were nice and you could tell that it kind of killed them that I could out backpack them. Thanks, Carpenter and Gonzo, for getting me to hike so far. And thanks, Cumberland Physical Therapy, for getting me to hike so fast.
The other thruhiker was a woman. We chatted briefly. I asked her if she was going to stop at Standing Bear. She said she wasn’t sure; she’d read about it and didn’t know if she should and was it ok. And now here I was, a mere section hiker, qualified to give advice to a thruhiker! I told her she should. She did 12 miles in that crappy snow today so she’s doing fine.
Anyways, here are some pictures.
There was a lot of snow. It sucked.
Sorry these are out of order. It’s really a brain teaser for you.
I got to the shelter about 7:15 and it was PACKED. no one was particularly friendly. There’s one NOBO thruhiker who I guess has done it before. He’s older and obnoxious. I had texted Dr Love that I was going to make friends whether they wanted to or not but I didn’t. I just ate and sat by the fire for a minute and now I’m writing this. I’m kind of emotionally drained. It was a day of very high highs and kind of low lows.
I’ll see dr love tomorrow. I hope he has a little food for me, but I think I could get by if he doesn’t.
Wait, can I just ask? Do NOBOs get any less obnoxious? Or are flip flops and SOBOs the only cool thruhikers?