Appalachian Trail Journals 04-12-03

Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)

Entry #21 – April 12, 2003

Well, our stay in town was quite enjoyable! Decided to stay 2 nights after all, even though the weather was OK yesterday. Of course, who knows what might have been hanging on up in the mtns. It can seem like a totally different world. When we were down in Franklin, it was odd looking up at the mountains and seeing the clouds and mist and cold grayness surrounding them, while the sun is shining down on you in the Microtel parking lot. They seem foreboding, threatening.

We did our errands in town yesterday. Walked to the library (about a mile on the other side of town) to check email, etc. After that we checked out a HUGE antique mall. It was so big that the first thing Andy said was, “We’re not looking at every aisle!” Well, we did, but quickly. I was glad to go there and do something “normal.” After that we went to Mailboxes, etc. to mail some stuff home, and then did laundry. Everything was so spread out in that town, it took forever to get anywhere. Oh, I forgot that in the morning, we also went to Three Eagle Outfitters. We bought an alcohol stove – they’re super small & light – made from a pop can, but only a couple inches tall. A lot of people use them because of the weight and convenience. We will make a decision by the time we get to Fontana Dam on whether we want to send our “heavy” stove home. Ate at Dairy Queen that night and went back to the room & had a few beers, got our stuff organized & watched TV. I have been obsessed with watching HGTV & all those redecorating shows. It must be due to the fact that I’m homeless. Ended up with a stomachache just like the last town stay. It’s hard for the gut to expand after days on the trail, I guess. Ended up getting a ride to Winding Stair Gap this morning from Fred (a Nantahala Hiking Club member) whose name was on the shuttle list. Had a pretty good time hiking today – easier then after our last own stay. Plus, the sky was completely clear & the sun was out – a perfect day. It’s easy to be in a good mood when you’re not on the verge of hypothermia. Originally I had thought it would be a short day, but we went over 10 miles, I think. We’re just past Wayah Bald now, tenting. Had thought we could camp on the Bald, but when we got up to it, there was a parking lot & the trail was paved! I guess it’s a place to go – there’s an old, huge, stone lookout tower there. Got here around 6:00. Jersey ended up pulling in around 6:30. He had stayed @ the hotel an extra night, too. He had to go back to Wallace Gap this morning, so he did 3 more miles than us today.