bri on the AT

Adventure Time on the Appalachian Trail

day 10 – March 10 Franklin

Made it to the 100 mile marker today already! That felt huge and yet so doable! 

All morning Cambyr and I were teasing that in spite of the rain we would get some trail magic. And, I was so bold as to predict it would come in a backpack on the trail to us. And a few hours later after a quick but steep hike up Alberts mountain, there it was! “Dine n dash” (in neon orange shorts, and umbrella and a green ukele) with “sweet cheeks” and her dog AT class of 2018 (yes the dog too) were handing out fresh oranges, organic gummies, and all sorts of candy! (Candy, a hugely popular high calorie item that seems to be a staple on the trail… I’m still holding out that I will be one of the few to make it without the use of all that crap!) What was even more amazing was that by the time we reached Rock Gap they were back and getting into their cars! The timing was just too perfect and even though a shuttle driver named Jim was there when we showed up ready to take another hiker to town but we didn’t feel we should go with him for some reason. We contemplated going the 3.8 miles to the Winding Staircase Gap where the three o’clock hiker shuttle would be waiting because it was around 13:30 but felt our trail magic friends would lead us in a more exciting path! They drove us to Zens hiker hostel where we found out he was all booked! He told us if we’d wait a minute or two he’d finish his lunch and then drive us to the microtel in town. Luckily during the wait (that ended up being more like two hours) we were able to dry off, drink some cocoa and yes he offered us, raid the hiker box (saving like $40 with all the Cliff bars I snagged!) and have really good talks with both Zen and a kid from Rhode Island that was in school and very interesting. Before we left Zens we found out Andrew Morton (the guy we camped out with last) was hanging out there so we’d see him again tomorrow most likely. We also got news from Paul that he and red wanted to split a room with us. Yeah finally the cost will start going down! 

Once we made it to the hotel and checked in, the guys were there soon after and we all decided we’d do laundry, resupply and rest together. The laundry place was only a half mile away and next to a less expensive grocery store.

We managed to convince the closed laundromat employee to let us do laundry and she was nice enough to allow us to go shopping while the clothes were being done.

We managed a successful shopping trip but realized with the food and laundry it would be a long and awkward walk back. Paul and I jumped right on asking people for help… But had no takers… Until a woman behind me in the checkout line started up a conversation with me and then one thing led to another and she was offering us all a ride and I was buying her a bottle of wine! Her name was Joy and she was absolutely delightful. My mom’s age and spunky, she was eager to talk and share stories and even left and came back when our laundry was done. We invited her to eat dinner with us but she shyly refused only to text me later she wished she had come out with us… She loved our energy and .. Well we all knew she thought Paul was really cute! 

Dinner was so much fun… Like seriously laugh my ass off fun for an hour or two. We all played off each other really well and the waitresses at the place were amazing. Since it was Tuesday, kids could eat free with a paying adult. We had three paying adults but they still let Cambyr have three free meals. All of which she ate and still ordered another meal! Man she is eating way more than me on this trip!

Plus Red Bushy Bush was highly entertaining as he proclaimed to be a vegan… Just not at Huddle House!

We packed all our food to prepare for our 8am shuttle ride and realized once again we bought too much food since we had planned to resupply in only three days. I am looking forward to getting better at this… The resupplying is challenging because we are stuck in this mentality that we can store things for later but now “storing” means “carrying” and anything extra is unnecessary weight. Hopefully Cambyr can eat it all quickly! The one Finn thing about this resupply is that we have better food options that we realized we could eat on the trail so we will be eating better each time we do this. … Well, the other hard thing is not knowing what the next resupply is like… So far they have been towns with big grocery stores… But soon it will be little options and possibly only convenient store food. Makes you want to stick up on the good stuff… Until you think about the extra weight! One big reason people do mail drops. Sigh…live and learn.

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  1. Mike Miller March 16, 2020

    I am so jealous . My buddy Alan and I.will be at Gregorys Bald April 14 thru 18th. He is leaving March 23rd for 5 days on the AT . My wife is having more surgery so I cant go but enjoy
    . Please send more I love hearing and seeing your adventures. Love Radioman.

  2. Alan March 17, 2020

    Hey Briana, as of today 3/17 I see you are now entering the Smoky Mts. at the Fontana Dam / marina. Speculating on your location for Monday depending on how many zero days you take our paths may be crossing at New Found Gap. I am planning to start my hike there Monday 3/23 hiking out to the Icewater Springs Shelter and if it works out it would be so neat to meet you in person. I am looking at the weather and will decide later in the week for sure. I am retired with no schedule so I can choose my time. Hi….Alan

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