Bouncing Around North Carolina & Tennessee

Greetings from Erwin, Tennessee! We’ve had a big couple of days through North Carolina and Tennessee. We left Hot Springs after a late breakfast of eggs, veggies, salsa, and chorizo from an amazing gas station restaurant, yes you heard that right! If you are in Hot Springs and are looking for a place to eat, you have to check out The Take-Out Riverside Grill! Don’t be fooled by the location, it was delicious! After breakfast, we headed out over the French Broad River towards Lovers Leap Rock which had some amazing views of the river. That day we pushed to Little Laurel Shelter, about 19 miles away. We had our first venomous snake sighting that day, a large rattlesnake! I had never heard or seen a real one before but as soon as that sucker rattled his tail I knew what it was! We got in a little later due to our late departure so we quickly set up our tents and had dinner in the dark. At about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning we started hearing rain falling against the tent so we pulled the tent flaps down and went back to bed. The rain did not let up until a little after 9:30 so once it cleared up we packed up and headed out. The fog was thick that day and visibility was low all along the ridges. The trail was muddy and quite slippery so we had to slow our pace along certain sections of the trail which was not what we had planned as we wanted to resupply at Laurel Trading Post and then continue on. We finally arrived at Devil Fork Gap where we got a ride from the owner, Mark. The food selection was pretty limited and a little pricey but we managed to get what we needed along with some burgers and then headed back to the trail. We were all pretty exhausted after we got dropped off so we found the closest campsite and set up there instead of heading to the next shelter. We all crawled into bed pretty early and slept hard in the cool weather. In the morning we packed up and hiked to Whistling Gap campsite. We had another big day of ups and downs including a big push to Big Bald where we had a 360 view of the mountains. We had another late arrival but we were greeted by a campfire which was quite enjoyable. We headed out in the morning towards Erwin, Tennessee. The hike in had some pretty good ups and downs but and we were all feeling some aches and pains. We got into town around 3 and headed to Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel. We decided to stay at the Mountain Inn & Suites for the evening to rest and relax in their hot tub. We are now back at Uncle Johnny’s after resupplying at Food Lion courtesy of Tom with Shuttles by Tom. We are tenting out back to give our legs another evening of rest and we will be back at it tomorrow morning, heading towards Damascus.


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