When I left Hot Springs two years ago, it was with a new hiking partner. This time I left alone, without my hiking partner. This was sadness to leave Postman behind while he took a zero to hang out with his cousin. It shortly turned into sadness about having to stop every 30 seconds to try to not shart.
Thanks to the beer, peach malt liquor, and moonshine for that. Yes, it was real moonshine, not that shit from the liquor store.
This was the view back to Hot Springs.
It was a super beautiful day, even with the sharting problem. So on this section, I had to choose between doing fewer miles or more miles than I wanted to. I was inspired from hanging out with some big mile hikers (Yogi + Kimchi and Texas Poo) who pull out 20s like it ain’t no big thang, so I ended up choosing more, which resulted in an accidental 23 mile day. That’s what happens when you decide to hike 7 extra miles at 4pm after getting the BEST French fries ever at this hostel. It was totally worth it. And I don’t even like French fries.
I also saw this rattlesnake that evening while booking it to the shelter. Bro was enormous. Some pics from Hot Springs to Erwin. I climbed over my first fence stile, which I hate… …and got shit on by a bird. What a jerk. In Erwin, I stayed at Uncle Johnny’s hostel and caught up with Texas Poo, who’s working on finishing his Triple Crown.
The day out of Erwin, I met up with Kimchi and Yogi, my two favorite people, at our first really real trail magic (thanks Brother Tom!). We spent the next three days hard chilling and being pissed about the rain and section hikers setting up their tent in the shelter. I run the entire gamut of human emotion pretty much every day out here, and it blows my mind. One moment it’s raining and I don’t know if I’m on the second to last or last hill and the woods smells like Pizza Hut and I feel like punching everything. Then the next I realize it’s not really raining anymore and there’s a patch of legit blue sky and I’m actually on the last hill and I’m incredibly content and grateful. This roller coaster of emotion is definitely part of why I love this so much; I feel so much more strongly and authentically.
But anyways, I’m currently finishing up a zero and nero in Knoxville, which included an Indian buffet amongst a shit ton of other food. I have about ten and a half days in this next section before Bonnaroo. I should be getting out about 200 miles in that time if everything goes well, so wish me luck. Or don’t, it’s whatever.