I slept really well. we were all telling jokes till I dropped off.
I was up fairly early as it was going to be a big day for me as my target was 16 miles
I put on a brew and packed up as the water boiled
I said my good-byes and hoisted up my pack and set off.
Dan had said that it was mainly down today. but then Dan tells fibs .
I began my first climb, and all felt good even though it went on and on but again the views were amazing, so I frequently stopped to admire the views wow. I pushed on until I came to a side trail. which I had been advised to take. it was narrow and had warnings on. But wow again the views were amazing.
But as I was on a mission so pushed on until I came to my first descent of the day and it was steep, oh so steep I had to be careful, so I did not hurt my knees. The decent went on for at least an hour , it was then followed by another steep climb. It was so steep that I was soon huffing and puffing. Bloody hell, it took me 40 mins to summit before it levelled and then headed straight down. Luckily the decent was smooth so I began go get a good rhythm , the next minute I was lying in the dirt staring at the sky . Bollocks I said to myself getting slowly to my feet and dusting myself down. Thankfully, I was not hurt. ,just bloody annoyed
I set off again a little more slowly , soon I came to the next shelter, but this was not my target so hiked on. I was still going down, now the trail became crappy with loose rock and roots that again wanted to throw you to the ground and so my pace slowed. It was so crappy that it seemed to take ages to navigate it. At last it levelled before the next climb began and climb it did
I was so pleased when my watch pinged meaning that it was time for lunch, but I decided to wait until I got to the top
AT last the Fire Tower came into view and with a nice spot to stop. I put dropped my pack, put down my Tyvek then sat down took off my shoes and socks and relaxed.
I checked my map. wow I had covered 11miles and if was only 12.30 meaning it was only 5 miles to the shelter whoop. I and it was downhill yeah
I packed up my stuff and set off down the trail, I was soon into the zone and was cruising . Ping went my watch; great I thought another hour and I should be there. I began to descend , spiralling slowly down. yes, I can see the shelter and its only 3pm. what a day and 16 miles.
I walked up to the Shelter it was empty. This shelter had the fence on the front to keep out bears. Once all the shelters in the Smokies had these fences , but were later removed as stupid people fed the bears through the fences
I went and got water and had just made tea when my friends appeared high above me.
“SNAIL we are going on” They shouted
“Really ,,,,,,,Fuck” I said.
I quickly packed up and set off after them, but they were fast and so I was almost running to keep up.
They had decided to head to Standing Bear Hostel. that was another 5 miles away
I was doing okay as we followed the river heading towards the road.
As we headed down, we came to the permit box. that marked the exit of the smokies Hurray we are out of the Smokies. We all posed around the Permit box for photos before continuing on
There was a short road walk but as I made my way along, I began to run out of steam and my pace slowed and I began to swear a lot . I was only encouraged on by the thought of cold beer . The last mile was a killer and so I almost crawled into Standing Bear Hostel.
Luckily there was one bunk spot left for me , I found it and dropped my pack as I was done.
After I got my breath back I grabbed beer ordered a pizza and my sense of humour returned and I began to relax.
I joined the gang around the firepit and Catching up gossip and laughing until my eyes began to struggle to stay open
mileage 18 miles
Remaining 1949 Miles