Friday, April 29, 2011

Erwin, TN

woot woot, so here we are in TN, we hiked out of Hot Springs on an 85 degree day, straight uphill.  Town made us a little soft, and we were a bit tired from the shinanigans of the night before, but we made it 10 miles out of town before finding a fire tower overlooking gorgeous mountains and city lights.  Laugh Track and I decided to sleep up there along with Bronza, Coyote, and Fish Head.  It was pretty cool to be sleeping 50 feet in the air, with the cool breeze keeping the bugs away and some good entertainment provided by the boys.  The mountains following that day proceeded to kick our asses, but we made it to the shelter or campsite every night in high sprirts.  One day we accidentally took a wrong turn and got to hike an extra 5 miles...that was fun, but we made up for it with a lot of chocolate and jokes.  We ran into some AMAZING trail magic from two wonderful trail angels.  Hercules and FAL hosted us for about 3 hours while they fed us belgian waffles, pork stew, quiche, pulled pork sandwiches, bread pudding, ice cream, and soda.  It was the best detour we have ever taken.  They both hiked the trail in 1998, so we picked their brain for about 2 hours after lunch and got some fun details about the trail, trail days, terrain in the different states, and where to find good water spots in PA.  Two nights ago we camped in a small valley with Little Bird, Yinz, Spins, Gumby and Bootlegger, since we heard there was a massive storm coming through...and sure enough, around midnight, the storm of the century hit the mountains.  to top it all off, laugh track and i had been telling ghost stories around the fire right before bed, so we were freaking out just a little bit.  the lightning was out of control and the rain on our tent sounded like bullets, and the sound of the wind was like someone screaming, but we survived the night with the aid of a few tylenol PM's.  wet and tired we headed up and down some more mountains, making it to the top of big bald, hoping for some views, but all that was up there was fog...not that we let that dampen our spirits!!  as we headed into erwin, a couple who had thru hiked last year had set up camp and were offering hikers hot dogs, baked beans, brownies, soda, beer and homemade hooch!  we met up with Bootlegger and the three of us may or may not have downd two gallons of the hooch (which is surprisingly easy to make...note to self) and spent the next three hours joking and laughing with the other hikers who came through.  Yinz met up with us and the four of us decided to hitch into Erwin for some snacks, beer, and to see the town.  We camped out behind a little league field, met some nice locals, got some nachos and watched some t-ball, which seemed to be the big thing happening around town.  This morning we got delicious breakfast, some biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, homefries, and coffee, and are planning on doing some laundry, and even taking a shower!!  We head out tonight to try to get into Elk Park for our next mail drop!!  We are having a blast out here, even though we look 80 years old when we hobble out of our tent in the morning, but as they say, no pain, no rain, no we deal with it with smiles and jokes, and a lot of snickers.  we can't stop talking about how amazing this adventure is, and how generous and giving so many people are, from the trail angels who give us food, to the local in the cavalier who stuffed four gross hikers and four enormous packs into his tiny car with a smile.  people are so willing to help out and talk to you, and knowing we don't have to be on a schedule or have a time limit on anything, this trip is definitely a huge learning experience, and the best idea laugh track and i have ever come up with.  we have been out here for a month, and can't wait to see what comes our way next!! 

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