Starting Location: Hot Springs, NC
Destination: Hot Springs, NC
Total Miles: 279.7
Taking my first "zero" day today, after rolling into Hot Springs a day ahead of schedule with Professor T on our last day of hiking together. We've had a great time hiking together with gorgeous weather and scenery for 2 weeks across the Smokies and then some. Nice to have a friend along as a hiking buddy, and although it would be really cool to have him go all the way to Maine with me, I'm sure his wife Maureen would kill him promptly upon return. Staying the night at Duckett House again since all the hostels are still full, and I've spent most of the day doing errands, re-supplying, and hanging around the outfitter. Bought a new pair of shoes since my feet have already swollen (very common among long-distance hikers after spending so many hours a day on your feet) to a size too large for my current pair of boots. Read some emails (Hi Hillary in Nicaragua!) and also chatted with some familiar thru-hikers like Flora and Fauna, Ben, and Mo. Finished out the night with another dinner and a couple pints down at the Paddler's Pub with Ben, Moonshine, and Yurdle, where a live bluegrass band was playing. By 9:30pm, I was toast. In fear of turning into a pumpkin and falling asleep right there, it's back to Duckett House and a cozy bed for me!