Woke up to a sore shin again, but was up early and had plenty of time to get ready and stretch.
First 6-8 miles felt fairly good, until just before reaching the highest point on the trail, Clingman's Dome at 6,643 ft. Tourists who had driven up and parked at a lot just down the way huffed and puffed to get up the paved walkway to the top of the tower.
The rest of the day was a lot of downhill, with a little uphill thrown in for fun. A lot of evergreen trees with the roots ripped out of the ground. May have something to do with a lot of water on the trail or possibly infestation by bugs. Ran into some trail maintenance folks who offered us some apples and candy. Apples were so good, as we don't have fresh produce often!
Met up with Brian's wife Ann (who had sent us some delicious chocolate covered strawberries at Nantahala :) ) at Newfound Gap, who drove us all into Gatlinburg. A lot easier covering 13 miles in a car than on foot! Ran into Jersey Steve at the Smoky Mountain Brewery, then called it a night at the Grand Prix motel.