Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 6

Last night was COLD, around 20, but we woke to a beautiful snowy and sunny morning. The trail was frozen solid and it made for some slippery hiking...I had many close calls where my poles saved me from falling but I did slip and fall on the ice going downhill at one point. I landed mostly on my pack so I was none the worse for wear. The trail flowed steadily for 5 miles to Newfound Gap where we waited for AJ's aunt's boyfriend to give us a ride into Gatlinburg. The six of us plus James and Jen, two other thru-hikers, piled into the back of the Astro van and enjoyed the ride down the mountain. The day turned warm as we lost elevation and we enjoyed a pleasant day in town...lunch (delicious burgers and fries) at the Smoky Mountain Brewery and resupply after a maze of trolley (bus?) rides to and from Walmart. AJ and Phil are at AJ's aunt's place and Muffin Man, Shepherd, Pappy, and I are staying at the Grand Prix Motel, which gives thru-hikers a 50% discount! We ordered pizza and have been organizing our gear, doing laundry, showering, and enjoying being clean, warm and dry. Tomorrow will be a short day on the trail as we head back into the beautiful Smoky Mountains and get ourselves dirty again...
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