Day 66. Beer Legs

Thursday

It was get to the Brewey day a mere 18 miles easy right .I finished my cup of tea and stowed my pot.
Okay snail easy day .I will be there at 3pm I told myself as I hoisted up my pack. I waved to the other hikers as I past by the shelter and back towards the trail. I hadn’t gone far when Bob appeared wow what time did you start Bob.
I pushed on it was a nice cool morning but the trail was not to my liking. it was horid rock.
But the trail had been recently cut back so was easier to walk along . The trail now began to head down and quite dramatically . God it was steep I felt admiration for the trail guys doing down this with their weed wacker.
Every now and then there was a clearing where you could look down into the valley.
But I was in a hurry and so didn’t stop . The trail continued down and would continue for the next 3 miles. I pushed on happy in the fact there would be ale at the end of the day.
Round the next corner sat Jingle . so I stopped and said hi .He’s Japanise and in his 60,s and got his name as he carries bear bells.
I continued on and eventually came to the road .I was just checking my maps when jingle arrived. Hey Snailtrainer you coming to get breakfast?
It did sound like a great idea but then I had to hike a 6 mile climb and with breakfast in my tummy.
I poitely refused. crossed the road and began the climb
It was fairly gentle at first with nice switchbacks . Then it began to go down again . Why are you going down you stupid trail . I was busy muttering to myself when Jingle appeared behind me.
What happened about breakfast ? I asked
No hitch he said.
I let him pass and began to pace him and followed him still heading down untill we came to a large stream .

A hiker named Solo was already there . Jingle stopped but I pushed on . The climb now began in ernest. I passed by the next shelter.debated wether to go sign the book but pushed on . The trail was fairly steep and rocky Omg I thought getting to the Brewery may be delayed. I huffed and puffed my way up.
Then I heard someone behind .it was Solo I moved over but he said no. your okay and so he tracked me for some distance . but this climb was tough ad so I needed to stop for a break and so at the next clearing I stopped and sat down on a huge granite slab. Catch you later solo I shouted.
Omg I was struggling today the long long down first thing had taken it’s toll as it kills your knees. And my fuel tank was fairly depleted.
I woofed down some snacks guzzeled some water before returning to the trail.
I hadn’t gone too far when I came across Jingle doing the same .
The trail now began to tease with it roller coaster route but the downs were dips and the ups large climbs . this went on for the next hour . Then it turned into just a huge climb. It had switchbacks but I was struggling. It was no good I had to stop again . I slumped down on a log . God this is killing me.
I glugged down more water and finished off my snacks .I just sat there staring at the green canopy above.
Okay let’s go .I hoisted my pack and plodded forward. I was still nodding when Rockwall appeared and raced past me. . How does he do that. I muttered to myself..

After another hour I had reached the summit but it still climbed but not as steep thank god. I was scared to check my watch or map in case it was still too far. At last I came to the second shelter. Okay okay 1.5 miles to go. Come on Snail.
But it’s still up omg. Arrhhh I pushed on .I was l knackerd.
I began to meet people, clean people that’s a good sign.
At last the trail began to head down and I could here traffic. the beer legs now began to work and I could now clearly see the road. and shortly I was stood st the road.
Jingle was sat on the other side of the road.
There’s no shuttle he said.
I know I said you need to hitch.
At that moment Rockface and Bob appeared so there was now four of us . Which makes hitching harder.
But the 3 car stopped and somehow we squeezed in including our packs.
The next minute we were driving into the Backbone Brewery. Omg what a complex it was huge . camping.sound stage the Brewery restaurants and much more.
we thanked our ride and headed to the bar. leaving all our packs lent against the wall.

I needed lemonade first. Then I was ready for beer.
I started low. Then raised the bar to a 5% I was now hungry so ordered Ribs and a stout to go with it. Wow the ribs were amazing. .meat falling off of the bone and so tender. big thumbs up.

Jingle had drank 2 pints .Then decided to go for the taster which was six beers of his choice. It was also his downfall as he had to be taken to his tent. But ended up sleeping on a picnic table.
several beers later. I thought I ought to go put up my tent before I can’t!!.
I also took a 30 min snooze changed clothes. before returnig back to the bar. But I was not going to be late

Start 826
Finish
mileage miles
Remaining 13 Miles

Advertisements

Day 63 Off to Glasgow

Monday 11th june

I slept through most of the rain. waking only to switch off my alarm. I eventually emerged at 8.30. wow I must have needed that sleep.i walked over to.the shelter Fish was there . Hey man what are you doing here as he’s normally fast.
I then met the ranger. and he’s a talker like me, 2 hours later I was taking my tent down and was on the trail by 10am really late for me.
but I only had two miles untill the road. I pushed on and soon arrived at the longest footbridge on the AT .As i crossed a train appeared on the adjacent bridge once across I crossed the road as advised by the ranger and I got my first ride into Glasgow.
I found the shelter and set up my gear. the shelter has power.lights, loos and hot showers
I went and resupplied and also brought a sympathy card for a friend who had recently lost her husband  a great  friend  of  mine so after writing I visited the Postoffice to post and then back to the shelter to chill.
I drank a few beers emptied a tub of ice cream and as I had Cell service I had another email from Osprey.
fantastic  they will  give me discount on a new pack .
I quickly logged into their website and entered the code, great that took off $150
Bugger , it wouldn’t let me select the UK as my billing address. arrrhhh. I tried several  more times before giving up and ringing the lovely lady at Osprey. after sever more phone calls . Result my new pack is on its way whoop. I was now feeling very smug so opened another beer.

As i was relaxing by the camp fire a man appeared and announced that there was free dinner at the church and that  he would be back at 8 pm to pick up those who wanted to come . Great I thought no cooking.
8pm soon arrived and soon a pickup full of hikers was on route to the church.
when I walked in I was amazed to see so many people who I knew.
There was Guinness, Bumble bee, Bob and Zippy and many more . I had a huge bowl of pasta with meat sauce,  salad bread and then they offered us more. before the ice cream appeared. it was so delicious .
As I was eating Poppins and peanut arrived.
after lunch we had to introduce ourselves and say a bit about our trail names before we were shuttled back to the shelter . i joined the others sitting around the camp fire drinking and chatting

 

Start 784
Finish 786
mileage 2 miles
Remaining 1404 Miles

 

Day 53 leaving Pearisburg

Again, I was woken by some very loud hikers, but I did have go get up.
I enjoyed my zero. it was what I needed.
I got up visited the bathroom. and grabbed coffee on my return. I am not a big coffee fan, but this coffee tasted good.  I sat on the porch with other hikers watching other hikers pass by

I took   another shower then slowly packed up my gear, Once I was almost ready I moved my pack to the veranda,
Next it was back to the post off to post these 2 resupply boxes up the trail   1 to and the other   to XX

On the way back, I came across Trypad, morning how is you toady and how’s Jess
as we were all a bit squiffy yesterday.
Once back at the hostel I paid my bill then said my goodbyes. I hoisted up my pack and strolls out and down the path crossed over and emerged at the best of the grocery store,
I thought I would   get some lunch as it was getting quite late   now.

I  Ordered  up a large sub, and  brought a lemonade and some  fruit  too.
Okay  time to head back to the trail .
I  headed  down the main road   and  It was hot  after about 20 minutes  I  decide  rather than carry  my food and  the trash afterwards  I thought I would stop now  as  it was 12.30.
I  found a grassy verge , dropped my pack and  began to devour  my  lunch.  I then found a bin to leave my trash before walking on. I followed the main road for a while before    re-joining the trail. As I approached the trail I noticed two other hikers    a girl that I came to know as Mary Poppins, who was eventually shorted to Poppins and Her hiking partner peanut, who were both Aussies.
I wished them well and pushed on      there was a small climb before I emerged back out on the freeway.  I then crossed over a large bridge that scanned several railway tracks and the huge river.
Once across the trail then   drop down beneath the bridge before climbing back up and into the forest

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
it was still hot as my watch pinged 5. okay I will do another hour. I pushed on and began to climb again through forest until I emerged again onto the ridge. Here was a huge mast so I put on my phone and yes, a signal. So, I answered a few texts and sent a few more
A little further was the next camp with a spring. I entered I was in two minds to stay or go. I kept going. I will do another hour I said to myself.
Ping. god that was quick. and as I turned a corner. There I front was the perfect site for me
I dropped my pack. spread out my foot print then put up my tent. threw everything inside.
I then went to find a good tree to hang my food bag from. once done I returned to my tent and began to cook dinner.
I made tea. then cooked dinner. Once full I went and hung my food bag. I had just returned to my tent when it began to pour. that was lucky
it was still hot as my watch pinged 5. okay I will do another hour. I pushed on and began to climb again through forest until I emerged again onto the ridge. Here was a huge mast so I put on my phone and yes, a signal. So, I answered a few texts and sent a few more

A little further was the next camp with a spring. As I entered I was in two minds whether to stay or go. I kept going. I will do another hour I said to myself.

Ping. god that was quick. and as I turned a corner. There I front was the perfect site for me.
I dropped my pack. spread out my foot print then put up my tent. threw everything inside.
I then went to find a good tree to hang my food bag from. once done I returned to my tent and began to cook dinner.
I made a brew  then cooked dinner. Once full I went and hung my food bag. I had just returned to my tent when it began to pour. that was lucky

mile 645.4. miles walked 10.1

Start 635
Finish 645
mileage10 miles
Remaining 1545 Miles

 

Day 52 Zero in Pearisburg

31 st May

I was woken by loud voices .typical as I didn’t have to get up. I finally emerged at 8.30 went and took a shower before getting coffee.
My foot still seems swollen so I took more pills and then soaked my feet in a foot spa with Epsom salts. I drank more coffee as my foot soaked .
Then I began to do my chores.
I am still missing a box I sent when I arrived in the US and the tracking number got wrecked in the rain. so I don’t think I will see it again but I havnt yet given up hope, so armed with some info I headed to the P.o the lady in charge was very helpful so fingers crossed.
Whilst I was there I grabbed two postal boxes as I wasn’t sure of what size I needed.
on the way back i called  into  the grocery store.I was doing my best not to spend  too much  , but it did include a big juicy steak for tea.
Once back I decanted my food from their boxes to ziplocks then into my boxs that i had picked up from the postoffice. I was halfway through  this process ,when the heavens opened up.

I grabbed my stuff and ran tothe veranda where I finished my packing.
In the afternoon I soaked my foot again whilst I sat drinking beer, I was miles away when I received a text from Jess she was in town, so I gave her directions to the hostel where I was staying.
At last  Jess came into view, It was so great to see Jess (  now named Blue grass)  again so we had plenty of hugs. Accompaninfg  Jess was tripod, who I haven’t seen for while either .
We drank a few beers before they needed to go back to their hotel for their own chores .
I finished up what i was doing before  heading to their motel to join them.
I took my steak and prepped food and we sat by the pool . There were comunial BBQs  by the pool  so  i lit  one   and cooked my steak as we drank beer.
After we went to the mexican bar for a few more then bed

Start 635
Finish 635
mileage ZERO miles
Remaining 1555 Miles

Day 46 leaving Marion.

Friday 35th

I woke and stepped over all the bodies that we had acquired last night. It’s a hiker tradition to grant the floor to your hiker friends. ha ha .
I had a quick shower a d went down to breakfast. it was continental but I could have scrambled or waffles. I went with the eggs. when I worked I drank two vats of coffee and a few glasses of oranges juice.

several rounds of toast and a yoghurt. The eggs came and that too was scoffed.

I went back to the room the bodies were awake and packed

I put the rest of my gear into my pack. rinsed out my bladder and refilled it with clean water,added some lemonade mix then put that into my bladder. okay Bob see you downstairs .

I hoisted up my pack and left the room and took the lift. At reception I asked the lady if I could use the computer .
Of course she said that is what it is there for.
I touched the keyboard and it woke up. I signed into Google and printed of the returns from for my socks.
Bob then appeared. hold on Bob there’s a bank across the road I will get you some money.
We crossed the street and I went into the bank to use the Atm. It was rather a clever machine. I paid Bob then we walked and looked at the memorial day tribute.

after we walked down the road together until Bob came across a coffee shop.
See you up the trail Snail he said.
Likewise Bob I replied.
I needed to resupply and so was heading to Wal-Mart 2 miles on the other side of town.
my pack felt good but will shortly be heavier.
It was a long walk  and the path   was roasting .I crossed over the railway lines and just kept going . I crossed the road .something that always makes me nervous out here. as I crossed a police car came by .so I waited, but he then stopped and waved me across.
I huffed and puffed up the road then I spied a grocery store. That will do snail so  I walked up grabbed a basket and began to explore the aiels.
I love how it’s laid out . I  grabbed several Kor side in my basket and then a bag of couscous for a change. salami. cheese.hot chocolate more lemonade mix . sweets . a bottle of soda. some bagels
I think that will do it. I  then I sat outside decanting my food into ziplock.
several people stopped go say hi and to ask if i was through hiking and to wish me luck.
I finally I guzzeld my soda and I was ready.
I crossed back over the 4 lane road and stuck put my trusty thumb.
Instantly a car with a large trailer stopped.
You going back to the trail. said a voice in a thick Southern accent.
Yes please

You can put your pack in the back.
I did then tried to get in the passed her lot was full with “stuff”. but I managed to get in.
He was a gardener and was off to cut grass.
As we drove back we passed by the trout hatchery that the two men I met. putting the trout back in the river.were from.
Then past the razor wire of the local prison.
Then we were here. so thanked him then retrieved my pack and waved him off.
I thought that I would have a quick look at the visitor centre so walked up to the building.
To my surprise sat on a bench outside were Dupont and Phoenix
Bloody hell I said great to see you both. we chatted for a while then I went to look inside. Got my passport stamped and looked at the exhibits.
Dupont and Phoenix had left.
I finished my soda .dropped the bottle in the trash . then I was ready i crossed the road and I was away.
I really didn’t like this part of the trail it was Rocky and hurt my foot .really hurt my foot the pain was beginning to get me down as I limped through it .It wasn’t long till I was on my first climb .what fun. I was miles away when a couple of hikers frightened me as I didn’t hear them.behind me.
The last had a lovely bum, if only I had the speed to keep up ha ha.
Eventually I reached the summit only to see Dupont and Phoenix resting.
Have you only got this far I said or are you trying to make me look good.
They both laughed as I hobbled by. The trail was reasonably flat for a while but still Rocky and crap to hike over .
Then I saw a backpack just on its own… owner possibly pooping in the woods. I don’t know why that makes me smile but it does.
A little further along was the lady with the nice bum. obviously waiting for her chap.
I said my hello and was on my way . but again the trail was steep down and rocky a d it was just killing my foot. and I wasn’t getting any speed.
I shortly came to my next climb and this one went on and one .it wasn’t long until the couple caught me again I couldn’t help but state at her arse in her tight shorts dream.on Snail but the image helped me climb. Once up I was annoyed yo fond that it was straight back down. although I have to say that the axelias are gorgeous .
At the bottom.i crossed the road and took a foot break .
took off my socks and stared at my aching swollen right foot.
I took more meds .gulped down some orange drink stared some more at my foot. then put my socks and shoes back on, hoisted my pack and I was off . The trail still rock and horrid . as I was pounding down the trail I suddenly came to an opening with a view. There was a hiker all ready resting . I stopped took some photos and was just about to leave when the hiker said
There were people doing trail magic st the road.
Thanks I said and took off.
The trail now became nice and u began to follow a small stream as it tumbled over the rocks on it trip down.
Round the next corner I spied DUPONT again they had stopped for water.
I zoomed past them as I had plenty of water.
I must if crossed that stream about a dozen times as I walked down the trail.
Then there was the shelter. so stopped signed the register and was on my way.
The trail was still heading down and I was able to increase my speed a little .
Then more rocks and as I tried to cross them I managed to kick my sore foot in the worst possible place I could see stars and felt sick .The pain rushed through me as if I had been run through with a sword.
The pain was intense .A string of obscenities filled the air. I needed to sit down I shuffled forward in front if me was the stream again .
J dropped my pack took off my shoes and socks and plunged the painfully foot onto the icy water. Oooooo it felt good.
I decided to have lunch while my foot soaked. 4 other hikers including Dupont a d Phoenix. Mac by and asked what I was doing?
after lunch I dried off my feet put on my socks and shoes a d I was away .
In the distance I good hear an airplane. or was it a mower or generator.
But what it actually was , was the vibration of the power lines.
It didn’t sound right to me .and I was a little nervous waking beneath them.
As I continued down the trail I came up a notice saying trail magic at the church.
When i exited on to the road I could see it.
Omg what amazing people.
in the old school-house/ church was several boxes of things a hiker may need
ie meds. bandana. hats. socks . sunscreen, lip balm. razors
Then there was food and a big ice chest filled with sodas and water. Wow. Thanks again
I drank a soda. eats some fruit pots.
Oh and DUPONT and Phoenix were here too and several other hikers.
They wanted to do another 10 miles. I wasn’t sure if I had 10 more in me. but may try.
They then left with another hiker. There were two of us remaining. and I couldn’t help but stare at another set of hiking poles.
I have mine. you have yours I said to the other hiker. So whose ate them poles.

It took a while for my brain to register. But it was the hiker with Dupont. I quickly shouted as the trio were almost out of sight. Then waved my poles in the air.
The other hiker soon realised and began to make his way back. Sorry I said I kept staring at your poles but it took a while to register. No thank you Snail.
Glad it’s not only me who walks off without their poles.
I finished my fruit jelly glugged some cold water then took my trash to the bin.
let’s go snail I said to myself.
I hoisted up my pack and set off after dupont and his team.
Oh my God what a fantastic trail. all smooth and flattish .
Why couldn’t the trail been like this earlier. I was now pushing and nothing was hurting. In the distance I could hear the tooting of a train . I knew I had to cross some tracks later.
I was loving this trail, all smooth and soft. then I emerged out into a meadow.

and I was meandering my way across. z d the. I to the next meadow. I was loving this.

At last I was at the tracks . Looked both ways the. crossed over. I walked along a long platform that kept you out of the marsh. I pushed and pushed I could hear cars then I emerged out onto the road and near to a garage.
I crossed over and walked to the garage. then went in . I brought a cherry Coke and a ice cream . Paid and went and sat down. outside. I savoured my ice cream whilst chugging my cherry coke.
I put the bottle in the trash and made my way back to the trail. zit wasn’t that well-marked but I seemed to be heading in the right direction.
I soon found it and began to pace down, the trail was still lovely.

As I crossed over a creek I noticed another hiker who looked as she had bed. swimming.
Are you clean i asked ?
Cleaner came her reply. I laughed and hiked on
I was now in more meadows .I crossed over a cattle grid and into another meadow. This one had cows in.

I think 2 more hours I said to myself and pushed on through the fields.
I now came to a mother forest and had to climb a style to get in . as I entered I could hear people and so it wasn’t long until I came to about a dozen hikers and their tents.
I recognised a few hikers. There was handstand. her man and a few others.
I said my hello is and pushed on. typically the trail began to climb steeply.
Bugger have I made a mistake?
I pushed on and on puffing and panting. At last I was on. nice flat trail again . my watch pinged 7pm . mm need a spot.
Then around the next corner was a disused shelter or rather the remains of one.
I quickly put up my tent, found a good tree to hang from.then made tea.
It was getting dark as I age it then off to bed.

Start 504.5
Finish 524
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1666 Miles

Day 41 3rd Zero at Damascus

Sunday 20th May

I slept really well and wss in no hurry  to leave  so  dozed . Eventually I got up  and went downstairs. grabbed a coffee then scuttled back to my bed to drink it in between dozing.
One person had all ready gone , but the others were still sleeping.
At 8.30.I decided to make move and emerged from my bunk. I wanted to visit the pharmacy and grab a few bits.
As I walked down the road a hiker named white rice joined me.
Where are you going snail?
I’m pottering, but need to walk to the out of town store.
I’ll come too he said !!!.
I visited the local shop  first as I wanted some cherries or similar as they may help my toe .(Gout) Inside was Blue grass (Jess) and Danimal.
I said to them both of them that I was hiding from white Rice. They both laughed.
As I came out of the shop WR joined me .
Okay, I want a quick walk through the festival to see if there were any bargains.” I said  As we were walking we met Big Red and Magic. who were heading to get breakfast .
“Oh I will come join you”. White-Rice said and headed off with them.
I gave a big sigh, promptly turned around and headed out-of-town.
It was about 3/4 a mile to the shops. on the way I passed Handstand, Dupont and Phoenix. how goes it guys ?
At last I was at the shops, i walked in and made my way to the pharmacy counter only to find that it was shut. Bollocks I said to myself
I stood in disbelief for a while, before deciding to grab some shopping. I brought a salad for lunch ,some fruit, cranberries and cherries and some more painkillers
I did think about visiting the brewery  that was just a little  further , but it wasn’t open for a while, so I headed back to the park . Most of the vendors were slowly packing up and some had gone all ready.
I got a new titanium pot for $30 they were $70 yesterday. Bargain……
As I walked along I heard some great music so sat down to listen it was only when the Pastor  waled on did i realise that I was in a church service .  I  didnt want  to  just stand up and  walk  out    branded a unbeliever  or  something  so sat there for a fair while.
At last I could escape and made my way back to the Hostel where I sat in the shade and made my salad, added sauce and tuna fish then devoured it. I followed  this with  an orange and apple .
I then sorted out my food bag and relaxed before taking a shower.
Once clean I thought that I would take another wander around town. I grabbed 2 t-shirts for $20 then visited the library to try and use the Wi-Fi.
But after 10 mins I gave up as the signal was rubish so wandered back to the hostel. where I spent the afternoon catching up on my chores.
By  now i was hungry again  so went in search of somehere to eat , and now  trail days was over  the  choice was very limited

I found a small pizza place. it was tasty but I believe all frozen and came with plastic cutlery and plastic glasses. I  enjoyed a few  beers    before wandering  back to my  hostel  and  decided on an early night

Start 469
Finish 469
mileage ZERO
Remaining 1723 Miles

Day 39 zero in Damascus

friday 18th May

I slept so well on the sofa waking at 8.30 and dozing. Tank was in the armchair and whitey was on the other sofa. Beth was making coffee so I grabbed a cup.
Dan began to make breakfast, scrambled egg, hash and bacon  we  all dug  in  and  wow  so  tasty.
Once I had eaten I wandered down to the post office.
Sadly no sign of my bounce box , but new shoes whoop and another box which I then bounced to my friend in Texas.
I walked back to the house and tried to find the post office number. Beth lent me her phone to try and contact them .but after being on hold for ages I gave up I will retry tomorrow.
Every one else had walked down to the festival but as it was nice i quite  I began to edit some video  and  then uploaded,once  down i too headed off to  the festival.

I walked  through   mingling  with  the hundreds  of  other hikers . I  entered several competitions, looked at the kit, tents, hammocks. Osprey  the pack manufactures  should be  here but I couldn’t see them  as i wanted some  help  and  advice on my  pack  or  if  i could swap it out .
I kept meeting my hiker family which was great but now I was hungry so went and grabbed lunch and a soft drink as an Alcohol is banned from the town!!
Hundreds of  hikers and No beer     Great  idea

Whilst I ate lunch I listened to several bands that were playing.. As I sat there a hiker I met several days ago joined me and then so did Dan.
The other hiker was saying that Osprey and Big Agnes and several other venders were set up by the campsite.
I made my way back to the house , found my pack and began to empty every thing out.
I was going to walk to tent city when Beth offered to drive me.
Beth  drove  me  up to tent city    it was awash  with  hikers and  the smell of  food, Again there several competitions going  on and  there were  hordes of  hikers  surrounding  them.
I wandered through the vender part and found Osprey. I haggled on a pack for a while and got a 20% discount on a pack but I had to buy it  from town. But whilst  here I managed to get  my Hip belt replaced .
I wandered around looking at the other stalls  before getting a ride back to town. I found the outfitter , but unfortunately the store didn’t have either of the bags that I wanted . Oh well at least I  have a new hip belt.

I wandered back to the house and was pleased to see big Red had arrived. I gave him big hug then put my now dry tent away before joining the guys on the porch for a beer I am just about to sit  when Magic and Tentless arrive and it’s like a party .
We spent the whole evening sat  on the porch chatting and drinking beer untill the Pizza that we ordered earlier arrives . Its bloody  good pizza and we are soon all stuffed  but  can still manage more beer

But Omg it’s midnight

Start 469
Finish 469
mileage  ZERO
Remaining 1723 Miles

Day 36 Boots Off

Tuesday 15th may .

I was determined to make a good start so I was up early and packed by 6.30. drank my tea and wolfed a Danish and hit the trail at 7
It was cool and overcast perfect hiking weather for me.
The trail started with a small but steep climb then I was on my way .

I am not a fast hiker, more of a plodder, but i am doing the miles . I felt I was  amking fast  profress until handstand and another hiker zoomed past me . It is a little intimidating but hey hike your own hike.
I pushed on and  passed Bumble Bee, who was camping in a field, why  you  here i asked  as  your get a lot f condesation
Bumble be point  to a tree, i wanted to  go  there  but  the spot was taken ,
“Laters”  i said  and  pushed on
Several miles later   i came  across the  hikers who I met  at the shelter but  whp had decided  to hike on. I was impressed  with  the mileage that they had made. and i guess a lot of it in the dark.
I pushed on until I came to water, I drank a litre and topped upmy bladder. It was 2 miles to laurel falls  which was my  first target.
AS  i crossed  over a road   i  entered another park and  joined the river, I  following the river for a while before  crossing  over a bridge. Once across the  climbing started , I climbed up and  over  rejoining  the  river on the other side.
I then continued to follow  the river  as it flowed far below me.  It was time to climb down. the decent was down huge stone steps  that took me a while.  AS  i made my decent  the  roar  of the falls gready staedily  louder  then  i  could see them. Wow this decent was well worth the effort as the falls were magnificent. some mad people were swimming  in the pool  in the front of the falls.
I stayed for about  30 minutes  enjoying the  stunning  views of the falls, before moving on. The trail followed the river for most of the day before a huge climb.
At 1pm ,I decided to stop for lunch  and relax before tackling the next climb.
Several hikers streamed past  me , so  i  packed up  and  headed off   continiing to followed  the river  . I then caame across a huge wooden log  bridge   that  spanninmg  the river ,
Once across it was time to climb . this first climb took me 2 hr and once again  it seemed  a pointless climb. with  no view  and no purpose. But this is the AT.
I have to say it was so humid that my shorts were soaked, I  thought that i had a leaaking  water bottle but no it was my sweat. YUCK.
At last I was at the top  and typivally on most of these climbs   imeaditly  statterd my decent. As i made my way down i began to hear thunder rumble in the distance .
I may be getting wet, as I began the ever ending spiral down I was sudden it passed by Beth and Speedy .
Where are you  heading  snail Beth  said ?
Not  really sure    i  replied  laughing
We are  trying to get to Boots  offf, If  you  make  it  there Snail , do you fancy coming out for dinner later  ”
“Of course” I replied.
Beth and Speedy  were  so  fast they wee soon  goon.
It was 2 miles to the hostel so I pushed  on trying to  crunch  the miles as fast as I could An  hour I arrived  at the Hostel, but sadly no more rooms . I checked in grabbed a soda then the heavens opened.
I quickly found a tent spot and put up my tent as quickly as i could before everything got soaked once  my tent  was up  I  sorted  out my gear.
OKay  i  need a shower , i walked back  to  the main building and found the showers  The shoers were great  , powerful and  hot,   Once  done  i went to find Bethand Dan.
they were in one of the bunk houses,  ,Sat outside was Bumble Bee  so  i  cahatted  for  her  for a while , before Beth   arrived shortly followed by Dan .
They went to  meet their friends,
Snail are  you coming ?
I dint want to intrude   but  their freinds were  graeat ,
How  are we all going to  get  to  the resturant?”  asked  one  of their  freinds
Snail  will you be okay in the trunk,?
No  probs  i said
I  got  into  the back  of the car  and  we were soon on out way
They found a pizza place with live music.

It was great ,I ordered  a 16″ Pizza which was awesome washed down with 4 pints of various ales. we had a great time laughing and enjoying each other’s company..

eventually it was time to leave .once back we had a few more beers than it was time for bed

Start 413
Finish 428
mileage 15 miles
Remaining 1762 Miles

Day 10 Nero to Franklin

I slept crap, in fact I don’t think that I slept at all.
I emerged from my tent around 7 had a long wee then stripped down my tent.
I  slowly hobbled back up to the shelter. hoisted my pack then set off back . up to the trail. The trail began by crossing several streams. My knees were groaning., but it was right knee that was giving me pain today. I was wearing my leggings  and had not bothered with my knee supports.
I continued to hobble down the trail.the shuttle was due at 9.40 and so I had plenty of time. so no need to hurry.
The trail was actually very nice as I made my way along.I was shortly caught by 2 other hikers and we walked together.
The forests was very quite except for the sound of several woodpeckers who were busy at work. After about an hour I emerged at the road, where the shuttle should pick us up.
Also waiting here was creature ,. then Sunrise appeared, although he wanted to go on. but we convince him he would miss both shuttles.

The fare was 3 bucks to town bargain,  as it was a long way to town.
Where do you want to go  the driver aked ?
The  Budget inn. please .
It  was  about 20 minutes   before  the driver  cane to  a stop, THis is the Budget inn he  shouted.
I grabbed my pack  got off of the bus ,crossed the road  and  stood  outside the motel.
Seconds ;later a man  appeared , Do yoi  have  a vancany  for  2 nights ?
He  did  and  as it was just  me he  gave me a discounted rate .
I wasnt able to check in until 12 pm.  although he  said i could leave my pack  i  reception. A  i  havnt been out here long i didnt want to let my pack out of sight  so  decided to take it with me  and  go insearch of breackfat .

I  found what i thought was a suitable  place  , or rather noticed the half dozen packs  all lined up outside. Once inside i noticed  a table of 8 hikers so I asked if they  minded me joining them?
I had  just sat down when a steaming cup of coffee arrives. you ready Sir?
I ordered the house breakfast. Hashbrowns, 2 eggs sunny sideup, bacon and toast.
it’s not long till it arrives, and  its not long until it’s in my belly..
As I eat my breackfast , my cup is constantly being refilled with coffee. a treat  that doesnt in the UK these days.
I wandered back and checked in, exploded my pack, stepped out if my clothes and got straight into the shower.
OMG. the hot water felt so good. and I emerged CLEAN.
My next chore was laundry. I  cahnged into my  spare gear  before  getting  change for the washer , I  found the machine and  threw in my  clothes before  seting   it  in motion
my  next  job was the Post office as i wandered down the road  Charlotte (Tank) comented on my y outfit
It was further than i thought  and I was soon roasting in my puffy.
I patiently queed up untill it wasa my turn  Disaster!! There were no packages for me . they needed my tracking number to locate   them , that  were  hopefully still in my possesion .
I grabbed 2 boxes before walking back to my room ,its not a biggy I can get by.
Once back I swapped over my washing to the dryer.before going in search of my  tracking number  / receipt . I eventually  found it, but it  was not in good shape.but I will worry about that toorrow.

OKAY, laundry  is done… Shopping next. I headed off to the shops.

Note. I have not  into routine yet , so I brought far too much although  I was resupplying for 10 days. I  lunged my heavy  bags outside and began to decant   the  boxes  into ziplocks   making  the bags less bulky  and  lighter, before i headed back.

Phew it was hot  and a long way  back when your carrying bags and your knees hurt.
Once back i assembled  the  PO boxes   and  began to split my food between them 2 x 3 days and a 4 day ,

I then had a missed call from Dan & Beth as they were at the brewery.
i texted them back   that i was on  my way.
But  when i finally arrived   they had already left. Tom (Magic) and Charlotte (Tank) were still here so I joined them  and together we sampled many beers before Tyler (Tentless) joined us we had several more ales  before decided  that we all neded food

WE  found a restuarant aclled  Root & Barrel Kitchen

Welcome to ROOT + BARREL kitchen

The restaurant we found was great , we shared several starters  fried artichokes  and   fried brussel sprouts that came with bacon – goat cheese
Both were so  tasty , I then had a Blue Steak with Jacket potato again  so tasty
It was fairly  late  and i was reday  for  bed , although my younger companions  were  going on to party, but I was done so headed to my bed

Chores

I slept really well.But it was no good I need to do my chores.
First on the list Walmart. Google said that  it was a  22 minutes walk,so off i went and soon arrived at the store. I zipped up the aisles dropping stuff into my trolley. The problem with large stores like Walmart  is that the packs  are always far bigger than the amounts you actually needs only my want a so  you end up buying a big box .oh well.
I was pleased with my shopping . oh gas I need gas, typically they only  sell the medium size which is not a problem as it will last longer. Okay all done. Next my phone.
The lady in the phone dept. was really good and allowed me to try a Verizon sim, it gave us Wi-Fi but nothing else so I reluctantly went with AT&T
Once paid I made my way to a bin and discarded all the outer wrappings to make my shopping lighter for the walk back

In my shopping i had purchased 2 x 1.5 liter smart water bottles as these are the prefect  bottle  to carry as they  fit easily  into the side pockets of  your pack. But  why the hell did i not  pour the water away rather than struggling back  with  the weight !!!!!

As I got to the road I noticed that I had lost my necklace, bollocks but I was not going to stroll back to look for it, as it was a long way back to the hotel carrying my heavy shopping. I was so pleased when I finally arrived  back to my room..I put on the air con and collapsed on the floor.
Once revived I began to decent my food into zip-locks and then into my pack which began to grow in weight. Too much stuff Snail .too much.!!
Once done I re organised my bounce box before sealing it. Typically once sealed I came across more gear that needed to be inside it . bollocks I said to myself ,I  will just dump the excess gear.
OKAY post office, I put my bounce back into it’s suitcase and headed for the post office. As most people drive it was  not an easy walk.
I eventually arrived all sweaty and hot, passed over my box and other items paid the postage and then could relax

NB

When you post an item in the USA
DO NOT LOSE  THE TRACKING NO!!!

Maybe even take a Photo!!

I will explain about this later

My chores are now done apart from a shuttle I will do that later.
On the way back I decided  to explore the town as I really fancied a beer
Eventually I came across an Irish bar called Shenanigans. It sounded perfect to me and it was. My first beer was 7.5 % that’s rocket fuel for us Brits but god it was so tasty. I ordered some chips with bacon and salsa which was delicious. I chatted to several people at the bar as it was so friendly . So check out Shenanigans in Dahlonega a Great place.

http://theshenaniganspub.com/

once back at my hotel I arranged my shuttle, Appalachian trail here I come whoop.
I best have a  early  night