Muffin Man woke me this morning at 4:40. He, Veto, and I headed out of camp at 6 to hike the 6.7 miles to Hampton, TN, where we planned to stay at the Braemar Castle Hostel. The trail was beautiful! We walked alongside the river (Elk? Laurel?) and next to Laurel Falls. We got to the intersection of the AT and side trail, waited for the others to arrive, and then headed the 1 mile to town. Hampton is a small town but it still felt strange to be walking alongside the road all smelly and carrying our packs. Our first stop was the hostel, which we found out is closed for the season. Seriously?! Now what?
We weren't sure what to do so we decided to get breakfast at the Copper Kettle, which we found to be closed as well. Well...so breakfast was Subway and resupply shopping was at Dollar General and a small grocery store in town. We decided to hike back to the trail and camp as there was no where to stay in town. So, no shower and no laundry. Fiber, Veto, and I were headed back to the trail when a young man pulled up and offered us a ride...yes please! It was only about a half mile but much appreciated! We all met up at the trail intersection and found a place to camp nearby. It's tight quarters--5 tents (Tomahawk is with us too), 1 tarp, and 1 hammock. We are camped right beside the river and it's wonderful. We did some laundry in the river and took baths...I actually shampooed my hair and I feel sooo much better! The water was cold but it was worth it. I have a blister on my heel and Tomahawk, a wilderness EMT, doctored me up. Feeling much better! The afternoon has been spent lounging around and enjoying some time not hiking. Today had some unexpected events but turned out well, although I am REALLY looking forward to a real shower in Damascus!
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