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4/5/18 Day 256 AT Day 16: Errands in Gatlinburg and back to the trail!

Miles: 4 Steps: 18,754 Elevation Gain: Strava Knows Faith in Humanity: Met an awesome woman who may put me up for free in Virginia! And a great hitch back to the trail! Another amazing day! Woke up pretty early and went to a great breakfast place with an enormous iron skillet as its sign, a newspaper as its menu and had an incredibly tasty Eggs Benedict. Next up we went to a random hotel and did laundry and hung out in the laundry room (a tiny bit weird, yes, but certainly good times!) next we took the trolley over to the grocery store. The grocery store was the typical location of all the wonderful foods one can imagine so I bought food to get to the next town. We also invested in some Ribs, pasta salad, and the most enormous French fries I’ve ever seen for lunch. Very tasty as we waited for the trolley back to town. We made our way to the outfitter where I replaced my trekking pole tips and Energy got a box and did some pack organizing. We chatted with “the twins” and ate some cookies as we got ready to hit the trail. Next up? Hitchhiking! It literally took about 2 minutes to get a ride from a very nice couple! The woman said she has always wanted to hike the AT and shared a lot of great stores about her life with us as we climbed the 15 mile winding mountain road. Thank you so much! Ahh, we were both so relieved to be back in the forest! The beauty and serenity lifted our spirits tremendously. Not that we were sad or down at all... Gatlinburg is such a crazy, over the top pseudo amusement park I think everyone should experience once, but it was also a bit overwhelming. We both agreed we spent the perfect amount of time there. It’s so nice how many people will say hello to each other on a hiking trail. There were a ton of day hikers out and almost all of them were smiling and saying hello! How great! At this point it was pretty late in the day so we stopped after only 3 or 4 miles at Icewater Springs Shelter. Great to see Paul (now Chili Dog), Goldilocks, and fun to meet a bunch of new hikers, as always! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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