Day 7

Publish date: Apr 22, 2019

Rob and I have been hiking with three others lately: Brad, James, and MJ. We’ve sort of formed a tramily (trail family). Good timing, too. Trail wisdom says it’s best to hike the upcoming Smokies section in groups - better for scaring off bears.

Today, with this group, I experienced some of the biggest ups and downs yet.

Up: We crossed into North Carolina!

Down: We hiked 11 grueling miles in a chilly rain.

Up: We went into town for the first time!

The five of us called a shuttle (a guy in a van named “Santa Mike”) to pick us up near the trail and take us to the Sapphire Inn in Franklin, NC. I took a long, hot shower and then, I made calls on the balcony wearing a towel and a t-shirt from the hiker box (free stuff that hikers ditch) while we waited for our laundry. I didn’t even realize that the free shirt had BO until after I showered. But it was still glorious because today, I had my first shower, clean set of clothes, and beer in 7 days.