After an unexpected ZERO day in Gatlinburg we finished up the Smoky Mountain section in 2 days. The latter part of the smokies were more of what I expected them to be like. Moss covered, narrow trails, huge rock outcroppings and no bears. We headed to Standing Bear Farm for a short resupply. We had heard the place was "funky" from some other section hikers the day before. It was definitely an experience. The place is nestled back in the woods near almost nothing. Outdoor showers, streams running through the property, honor system grocery store and "Rocket Man" selling bootlegged PBR's for $2. We hadn't planned on staying but after we ate, waited out a storm and had a few beers we threw our bags into the bunkhouse. Played darts, rummy, watched a squirrel eat cigarettes and headed out with 2 days of food for Hot Springs. The few balds we came across were awesome. Max's patch is
Rumored to be a background on windows XP. Anywho it's nice to be spit out of the green tunnel every once in awhile.
Yesterday was all rain from the second we stepped foot on trail. My knee was hurting a bit after back to back 18+ mile days but the rain makes you keep going or stop instantly. We made it the the hostel in Hot Springs and went to town for a beer, burger, and laundry session.
Today is another ZERO but we transferred over to Elmer's Inn. An old Victorian farmhouse with a music room, and family dinners cooked by Elmer every night. The house is amazing and affordable and worth every second of our rest day. The plan is to push 20 mile days for the next week and try to make it to TrailDays In Damascus next weekend.