Friday, April 24, 2015

Day 23- Journey Into Hot Springs

Walnut Mountain Shelter(261.3) to Hot Springs, NC(274.4) 13.1 

My Gasparilla Half Marathon time was 2:15, I did a half today in 4:35. Not quite
the same with 25 lbs on my back. I've never been so happy to get to town. I've been pushing really long miles lately and definitely needed a break. Today's hike was pretty uneventful. I mostly went downhill. I've been having a lot of pain in my toes lately, mostly in my big toe knuckle. Apparently after 250 miles your feet swell and become wider. I'll probably end up buying new shoes soon. The replacement shoes REI sent me are already tearing again. 

I got started really early this morning, I left the shelter at 7:30, after a pretty crappy nights sleep. I think I'm done sleeping in shelters. It's just too uncomfortable sleeping on the hard wood surface. It was pretty cold when I got started, Doc said it was around 28 degrees. 
I didn't take very many pictures today, I was too focused on my goal of beer and a burger. 

I did stop to check out these random tombstones about 10 steps off the trail. I'm not sure of the story on how they got there, but it must mean that at one point civilization was closer to the trail.
Tombstones off the trail

I also came across a mile marker for the end of the trail, Katahdin. I stopped to take a quick picture. 

As I came down into Hot Springs I planned on going right into town, but as I was looking at a sign on the trailhead the caretaker of the local hostel offered me a beer. I decided to accept and stay. I got a place to hang my hammock, a shower, and laundry for $15. Score!!!! If you're ever hiking the AT, I highly recommend the Laughing Heart Hostel. This place is great. The best part is meeting up with so many of the hikers I've been flip flopping with. I've also met a bunch of new people. I met a hiker named, Jokes. It turns out that his mom is following my blog. Hi, Kathy, thanks for following my blog. I'm hoping that HVAC and Lorax catch up to me here. Tomorrow I'm planning on hitting up the Hot Springs spa. They even let you bring in beer while you soak. 
I'm not sure what I'm doing for dinner, I'm still pretty full after my huge burger and fries at the local diner. I got a chance to weigh myself at the outfitter here in town. I can't believe I've lost 14 lbs in 3 weeks. I need to do a better job managing my calories. 

I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing zero tomorrow. My best friend, JC and his cousin Anne, are driving up here to do trail magic tomorrow. I can't wait to see them. JC will be starting his thru-hike soon and I'm excited to answer all of his questions. 
The Mountain I hiked down to get into town

"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt"- John Muir


  1. Enjoy your Zero day with JC and Anne. Love the name of the Laughing Heart Hostel!

  2. Enjoy the day off tomorrow, glad you are having a great time

  3. Hope your feet get better. Enjoy your day and eat a big steak and potatoes.