Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 13 (15 miles)
I got up just before dawn and packed up as quietly as I could to not disturb the others in the shelter. Anyone that has met me knows that being quiet is an uphill battle.
I wanted to get into Hot Springs quickly so I hit the trail as hard as possible. It was 15 miles and, with some running of the downhills, I was there before 11.30. I don’t do this often, but always have fun running the trails. It is simply balancing it out so that my body is not beaten up from the extra impact.
Now in town i got lost and walked the wrong way. I can keep myself on track in the wild but that seems to not have improved my urban navigation. It should be easier?
When I finally found the main street of town, I stopped at the Dollar General to resupply with some junk food. The quality of food that I eat varies from town to town considerably. At the larger towns were nuts and healthy options are reasonably prices I opt for them, but on other occasions, like this one and resupplying from a gas station, healthy options are non existent.
I then headed for the Sweetwater Tavern. They were super nice in there with several of the staff former Thru Hikers. I eat and even had the pleasure of the owner coming over and talking to me for half an hour.
I was thinking about leaving when a couple of expats from Australia walked in the door. They were incredibly nice and we ended up talking to each other for a long time. They offered for me to stay at their house and get out of this mega cold snap. I initially declined, but when I looked at the weather and a new low of -5F (-21C) was going to last all week I graciously accepted. My +10F (-12C) bag would be on the cold side.
On the way to their house in Charlotte I organised my full winter bag to be delivered from @colahikes house.