(Somehow, when I posted this originally, only half this blog post was posted. Here it is in its entirety. )
Day 32 -April 8 2017- 0 miles – Gatlinburg
Getting to sleep the night before had proven to be harder than expected. One of the parking lot lights shown right into the room. Above the curtained windows of the hotel room were another set of triangular windows that let all the light in.
Around midnight a guy got in an argument with his (ex?) girlfriend. He was drunk and yelling and he went on for about an hour. When he left, he decided to rev the engine of his muscle car a few times to show how angry he was. Then attempted to peel out of the parking lot. He stalled his car instead. I had to chuckle to myself. He wanted the whole world to know how wronged he was, but publicly demonstrated his incompetence instead.
Despite the nightly interupptions, We still woke up pretty early. On the trail we had been getting up around 6:30 and I guess our bodies had gotten used to the idea.
We went for a walk to try to find a breakfast spot. On our walk we saw a lot of tween age cheerleaders and their families. They were on their way to the competition the shuttle driver had spoken of.
For lunch we went to a BBQ place and then hung out at Dunkin Donuts. We sat at the front window and sipped our coffee. After witnessing a mother blow cigarette smoke in her babies face Stoat had had enough. “We have to get out of here. Now.” he said.
On our way back to the hotel we saw a long line of tween age cheerleaders plodding along dejectedly. I guess they didn’t do too well at the competition.
Our second cousin Eileen went to college about an hour from Gatlinburg. We made plans to meet up around dinner time.
When she got there we took a walk around town and then went to a Mexican restaurant to eat. To get into the restaurant we had to go up an escalator to get in. There was a large crowd at the top waiting to get in. That left very little space for us. We couldn’t back up on the escalator because there were people behind us. So we slowly got smooshed into the people ahead. The people behind us were about to smoosh us when Stoat yelled ” MOVE UP”. The people ahead might or might not have understood what was going, but they reacted to the loud sound. Thankfully we avoided being crushed by sweaty tourists. We laughed and wondered how many times a day that happened.
After we ate Eileen took us to a supermarket to resupply. We went through a different part of town to get there. That side of town had been affected by last years fire. The line of burnt trees came right down into the town. Several building had been burnt down and it didn’t look like the rebuilding process had started yet.
Seeing the fire move down mountains must have been terrifying to the residents. There was nothing they could do about it . It must have been like looking at an oncoming tidal wave. Except this wave was on fire and coming from almost every direction.
After the supermarket run we decided to call it a night. Before Eileen left she gave us some homemade brownies. Those didn’t last too long.