Thursday, 28 June
|Destination: Uncle Johnny’s Hostel – Erwin, TN||Today’s Miles: 16.8|
|Start Location: Bald Mountain Shelter||Trip Miles: 345.0|
It got windy after the rain stopped last evening. I thought that would dry out the trail for the morning. A thunderstorm ⚡ started about four in the morning and lasted until about six. It rained harder than yesterday. I got packed and hiking a little before seven. Wing it and Jared were just getting up. Most of the morning was in light rain and mist. The afternoon was just overcast.
I got to Uncle Johnny’s Hostel, which is right on the trail, about 2:30. After an ice cream sandwich and checking out the food supplies, it was time for a shower. I called ahead to my next resupply to see what would be available. I learned my lesson with peanut butter crackers and Clif bars at the previous hostel. I picked up some food at the outfitter and then it was time for the shuttle to town for dinner. Wing It and Jared came in. I went to the Italian restaurant with a hiker about my age, Bill. Dinner was an antipasto salad. Yum , real food. At the Walmart, I added a few food supplies as well as some yoghurt for breakfast. Then back to the hostel. Jared was doing laundry so I threw my stuff in. Everything smells bad by now. A look at the weather forecast was a pleasant surprise, no thunderstorms in the forecast for a couple of days. Not sure how far I plan to hike tomorrow yet.
So Jared and Wing It have two different hiking plans. Jared is an acupuncturist in New York City. He hikes for three weeks and then gets back to New York for a week to see his clients and then he returns to hiking. Wing It started 16 or 17 days ago so he is hiking about twice as fast as me. I think he is a professional hiker. He is an ex Marine and has sponsors. He has completed the Pacific Crest Trail as well as biked across the U.S. Not sure how long I will see either of them.