Hot Footing to Hot Springs
The rain had blasted my tent all evening. Wind whipped the rain fly as I waited for the entire tent to get pulled out of the ground and fly me to Atlanta. I finally got tired of waiting for it to happen and fell asleep. When morning arose it was strangely quiet. I got up and peaked outside. The world was still there and seemed intact. I pulled my boots on and ventured outside.
This is a sunrise. It is an uncommon phenomenon on this hike.
By 7:30 I was on the trail. I only had 15.5 miles to go but it included several ascents. As I approached Lemon Gap this thing looking somewhat like a sunrise appeared. I shedded some of my rain gear. Thirty minutes later it was pouring . My gear went back on.
I climbed to the top of Walnut Mountain. It was where Silver and No Name had stayed last night. They were gone but I was pleasantly surprised to find Kylo and Sunrise. Kylo had slept in his hammock last night and he was busy drying out all of his gear. Sunrise was having problems with her shoes and now her feet. As we talked a fellow named Spirit Man showed up. I was cold standing there because winter had returned so I began to hike again.
I left Walnut Mountain Shelter and traversed Kale Gap, Catpen Gap, Bluff Mountain (which wasn’t a bluff), and Big Rock Spring. During that time Kylo and Sunshine passed me leaving me once again the tail of this tramily,
Garenflo Gap Nine Miles Into the day.
Joe Gavalda, Pam Hembree and Jan Haney were driving up to meet and hike with me on this day. I figured with 15.5 miles total if I could get the 5.5 miles in about the time They reached the trailhead we would each have five miles before we met.
The Mountains around Max Patch
Suddenly some one came up behind me. It was Spoons AKA Bear Bait AKA Amanda. She was, of course, smiling. She was in pursuit of the others. She motored up the mountain we were climbing and I knew that she would not be seen again until Hot Springs.
The climb to Meetup
At 4.6 miles from Hot Springs we made contact. The reunion lasted a few moments and we turned to go back to town. My tramily is excited that I have friends who care enough to come here twice to join me on the hike. It is a special feeling and I’m more than thankful that they choose to do so.
Jan Haney and Defib
Each of these two hikes they have done involved hiking straight up a mountain to meet me . Jan keeps saying that she can’t climb great elevations. This one was 2,400 feet. I believe she doesn’t have to be worried about elevation anymore.
The Welcome to Hot Springs committee
Joe Gavalda, Jan Haney, Defib, and Pam Hembree. Luckily s hiker called Old Man arrived and consented to take this picture. He’s presently living in Florida because “the boss” says he had to. He lives with it but is hiking the AT because…..well…. he has his reasons.
The Look of “I’m tired”
We only had 2.9 miles to the car park. It involved a climb so we moved on. Upon arrival we met with Silver and No Name. Soon the reunion would be in full swing.
The reunion Dinner at Spring Creek Tavern
We were all there: Pam,Joe, Jan, Silver, No Name,Spoons, Kylo and Sunshine. A noisy place fitting for the occasion. A pizza never tasted so good. Spoons showed off her spoon.
No Name, Spoons and Silver
The Tramily Being tired
Pam and Joe
everyone was exhausted and some had a long way to drive so we parted ways. Tomorrow would be a zero day .
There are many mountains in our future and Erwin, Tennessee is in our sights. Hike on.
Our social leader says “hello” to all of you around the world. Silver could be the world’s PR head. He has promised to enjoy his zero day!