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Had my town step on this morning. Only 11 miles to get into Standing Bear and officially out of the Smoky Mountains. I set off around 7:30, walked the first 2 miles until I reached the top of Mt. Crammerer or whatever it was called. At the top a guy trail running passed me and I wanted to see if I could do it too. The conditions were perfect, my pack is at its lightest with less than one day of food, it was cool and dry, and it was all downhill for the next 5 miles into Davenport Gap. So I put in my headphones and took off.
I was surprised as to how easy it was for me. I wasn’t really breathing too hard and I was going kind of quick. My calves, hamstrings, and ankles were definitely feeling it after though but it was a nice challenge.
I arrived at Standing Bear Farm around 10 am in the pouring rain. Standing Bear Farm reminds me of like a lost boys camp or Neverland from the movie Hook. Random buildings and architecture that house bunks and private rooms for hikers. You are given a clipboard when you arrive with you name on it so that you can keep track of your own expenses and pay at the end. My first order of business is to buy a 12 pack, have some, pass some out, and save a few for my friends coming in behind me. We enjoy home cooked meals and card games and beer late into the night. All is well in the hiker world