Tuesday, March 27, 2012
3.24.12 - The Sorta Lazy Day
So I know this happened last night, but it was after my blog posting, and I have to add it to this one. After dinner, Brian decided he would go back to the room and shower first, so Chris and I stayed at the restaurant/lounge to finish our beer and watch whatever was on tv. Met another guy from Indiana there, somewhere near Louisville, and you could tell. So about 20 minutes passes by, I'm about to fall asleep on the leather sofa, when Brian comes by and says something about having just been sending emails out. I looked up and could not believe that we had been waiting, and he hadn't even been back to the room yet. Apparently the look I gave Brian was great because Chris lost it laughing, which made me start cracking up, then the three of us were there all just laughing our heads off. Hilarious stuff!
Woke up on a comfy bed, yet tossed and turned off and on thru the night. Loved hearing the sounds of the thunderstorm going on. Probably enjoyed it more because I knew I wasn't going to get wet!
Took a step out of bed, and HELLO! Definitely felt the results of a 22 mile day! My body isn't quite up to being able to comfortably handle that kind of beating, but in due time it will be :). I'm sure there's plenty more big mile days ahead of us. Just need to get my "trail legs". Had a good warm breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee to start the day, then went to take care of laundry and getting our resupply packages. Too much food, as our plans had changed from what our initial plan was. Instead of doing 7-8 days off a resupply through the Smokies, we are stopping about half way through and getting picked up by Brian's wife Ann, and heading to Gatlinburg. I'm lookin forward to checking it out for a day, cause as Jason Aldean says, "up ahead there's a turn, takes me right through Gatlinburg, I hear it's pretty".
So to take care of the overpacking of food, Chris and I split one resupply, and sent the unopened box ahead to Gatlinburg. Cool thing I learned is that with these flat rate boxes the USPS does, if you get the box and don't open it when you have it sent to wherever you pick it up, you can "bounce" it to somewhere else for no additional cost. Pretty sweet if you ask me!
Anyway, got packed up with clean clothes, bought some Skittles and Pringles (weird cravings like a pregnant woman are starting), saw Phoenix (aka my twin, since we seem to have a ton of the same gear), Froot Loop, Tom, Steve from Jersey, some other people we had seen the night before, and met Santa and Gnome (from NY near Rochester). Hit the trail about 1:30pm and only made it about a half mile before we ran into a group of guys who were sitting just outside the gate for the national park boundary, trying to finish the beer they had that the park doesn't allow you to take in. Being the nice, helpful gentlemen we are, we helped them out. Tom was there, and we met Midnight (something), Go To, and Shipwreck. We finally left there after a while and went about a couple hundred yards down the trail to check out the shelter known as the Hiker Hilton. It was a big shelter that could hold about 24, but I'm not sure you'd get much sleep there. We put down around 7 miles total, which included crossing Fontana Dam. We have now officially entered the Great Smoky Mountain National Park! I've been looking forward to this!!! The temp dropped enough to notice as we hiked in. We got to a high point where there was a lookout tower. Climbed up top and got some great views of the dam below and the surrounding mountains. Hiked about a mile more until we hit what the sign called Campground 113. The thunder started just as we were setting up our tents. Luckily we got them up right before it started raining.
Nice cool night, and as I finish this up at 9:45pm, my thermometer in my tent reads 48 or so, but it's much cooler outside. Wonder if we will see snow. That'd actually be pretty sweet :).