Want to document and share your hike with friends and family?
I have crossed into North Carolina and I’ve hit the 100 mile marker. I am currently at mile 109.4, Franklin, North Carolina where I am staying at Chica and Sunset’s hostel. They are a couple who thru hiked the AT in 2017 and have since moved to Franklin for the sole purpose of starting a hostel. They have hit it out of the park with this hostel, as the place is really clean and decorated with thru hiking souvenirs and art. It is clear they aren’t doing this for the money but rather for the lifestyle and fulfillment they get out of serving thru hikers. I think its pretty cool that they could find a way to make a living around their passion. I was glad to get off trail as last night it went below freezing and was humid. The conditions made my tent and sleeping bag get wet, which made for a fairly miserable wake up. Other than that I can’t really complain about the weather because it hasn’t rained in my 8 days on trail. It has been mild to warm in the days and cold but dry for the most part at night. For an early March start it has been the best case scenario in terms of weather.
I met a trail family of 12 on Sunday night. (A trail family are hikers who meet on the trail and camp together). They were mostly from the south and I seemed to get along well with a few of them. I Shared a shuttle with four of them into Hiawassee the next morning. I had to go back into town as my sleeping pad problem persisted and it kept leaking air. In town I purchased a foam sleeping pad, which are a lot more durable and cheaper at the expense of comfortability and less insulation. I was in high spirits after town as I’m beginning to settle into trail life. I really like the structure, simplicity, and freedom of it all.
My next resupply stop will be Fontana dam in 55 miles. I will take the best part of four days to get there. My feet are starting to blister and ache more so I want to take it easier on them. Fontana dam is the starting point of the Great Smoky Mountain National park. The AT runs for 71 miles through the park and will be the biggest challenge yet on the trail. It’s also supposed to be a beautiful area and features the highest point on trail, Clingmans Dome at 6643 feet.