A couple of days ago I reevaluated the pace at which we were hiking the Smokies and decided it wasn’t a race. Lol. This meant that we needed a little more food to make it through.
So after hiking 3 miles to Clingman’s Dome in the morning, we hiked another 7+ to the highway and hitched a ride into Gatlinburg, TN. Have you ever been there? Peculiar place. The town is like a carnival without the rides. That’s the best way I can describe it.
Once we got there we found a hotel half full with hikers who had bailed out at clingman’s dome for the day and even a bunch who had been part of a “1 o’clock am in the rain for 10 miles to be at the Dome for sunrise” group from the night before.
It was great to have a shower, do some laundry, and eat steak. We got a good night’s sleep and took the hotel shuttle back to the trail. They dropped us off just as the first raindrops fell. And so the day began.
Some of the hikers decided to stay at the first shelter just 3 miles in. I am sure some-or maybe even the rest-of those at the hotel took a zero day once they checked out the weather.
We, however, and a few other hearty souls (or fools) moved on. Wet is wet. What can you do? So what a day we had! There were times when we were up on the ridge and all we could see was clouds to the left and right and fog on the trail ahead! Hearty or fool? Sometimes they are so close. 🙂
We soldiered on and chatted a bit more than usual to distract ourselves from the cold and also so that we didn’t lose each other!
Here we are now in dry clothes in a dry shelter with all our wet stuff around us that will not dry by morning and surrounded by a half dozen other hikers reading on their devices or just starting to snore. PD is putting hot feet heaters in her socks. I feel my feet finally warming up inside my sleeping bag.
It will take a day or two to post this but let me ask anyway: What were YOU doing at 8:36 on Saturday night?