Day 47 -April 23 2017 – 9.2 miles – Overmountain Shelter to US 19 E
The day started off cold, windy, and rainy. Not optimal for going over bare mountains but we had no choice. We were on an adventure after all. Not a vacation.
For most of the day we hiked through a landscape I always associated with Scotland. The weather was fitting for sure.
We went over Little Hump Mountain and then made our way up Hump Mountain. Hump mountain had many false summits. Every time we thought we were at the top another mass of land would come out of the mist. The combination of the 40MPH wind and rain had caused our hands to start to freeze. We had to keep our fingers moving to keep them warm. We were ready to get off the mountain.
Even though my hands were freezing I couldn’t help admiring the landscape. It must have had beautiful views in good weather. However, I think the wind and fog had a beauty unto its own.
After summiting Hump Mountain we began the long descent down to Route 19. About halfway down we reached an area called the Doll Flats. It was too foggy to see much but we did see one thing. A sign.
Finally, after crisscrossing over the North Carolina / Tennessee border for over 200 miles, we were officially in Tennessee for good.
We quickly hiked through the remaining 3 miles down to the road.
It wasn’t even noon and we were done for the day. At the road we had to decide where we were going to stay for the night. As we were deliberating, Zeus showed up. We talked to him for a minute and we found out he had lost his glasses. He had taken them off when he took a break at the Leaving NC sign. He placed them on the sign and simply walked away. The rain had been obscuring his vision through his glasses so he was hiking without wearing them. So he hadn’t realized he was missing them until he got to the road. He decided that instead of going back up the mountain several miles in the rain, he would have a friend mail him his extra pair.
There was a hostel 0.3 miles down the road and the three of us headed over to it. The check in area of the hostel was closed for a few more minutes when we got there. We sat on some patio furniture until they opened. Around opening time we began to line up at the door. As the door opened a hiker came out of nowhere and cut the line. After he was checked in we were told that the hostel was full. The guy who cut the line made himself scarce pretty quick.
So we went to plan B. I called another hostel listed in the guidebook and he agreed to pick us up. We walked back to the road a soon a pickup truck pulled over. The guy got out and handed us each a soda. His name was Dave and he was the owner of the Doe River Hiker Rest Hostel.
When we got to the hostel we realized that it was located on a small working farm. There was a barn with goats, chickens, and horses. Besides the barn there was Daves house and a few other outbuildings including a trailer home.
The hikers could stay in either Daves house or the trailer home and all were welcome to hang out in the house. The house was full by the time we got there so we were going to stay in the trailer home. Inside there was a cooking area, several beds, laundry machines, and most importantly, two showers with hot water.
There was already one hiker in there and it took us a minute to realize it was Subway from Hot Springs. He had been doing bigger miles than us but he stayed there the night before and had decided to take a zero the day we got there. We talked a little bit until the call of a hot shower was to hard to resist.
Soon Godzilla and Turkey walked in. Godzilla said that when Dave handed him a soda he was so cold that his fingers couldn’t move. He asked Dave to open the soda can for him.
After everyone took a shower Dave stopped in to let us know he would be giving rides into town.
The town consisted mainly of a diner and a small supermarket but that was all we needed anyway. We ate at Bobs Dairyland. I wound up getting free ice cream there so that place is ok in my book. Turkey got some kind of massive “hiker” burger that was supposed to be real hard to finish. He finished it and ordered desert.
While other hikers were still eating Stoat, Zeus and I went over the the food store. After resupplying we stayed in the store due to a massive rainstorm. I was glad we weren’t hiking.
When we got back to the hostel, Stoat and I began to do our laundry. Godzilla had his wet clothes sitting in the washing machine. When I grabbed them to move them over to the dryer I found that they were all tied together. Along with his clothes, his clothes bag was somehow inflated and also tied in. Making the whole thing look like a strange octopus. Godzilla had previously mentioned that he had some idiosyncratic habits and I just assumed that this was one of them. When I asked him later about it, Godzilla assured me that he was not compelled to make laundry octopuses and that it was just a strange occurrence. I’m not so sure….
Day 47 excerpt