Day 28 (Apr. 18th) – zero day in Gatlinburg. Had fun sleeping in and having coffee in the cabin, then hung out with Betty and a Robert all afternoon in a Gatlinburg – great time! They are so sweet.
Day 29 (Apr. 19th) – 10.3 miles Newfound Gap to Pecks Corner Shelter. Rained all day – whether it was sprinkling, misting, or dripping from the trees – it was a wet day. Good to be back out here, we both felt good. Did not see a lot of hikers today, maybe because of the rain.
Day 30 (Apr. 20th) – 12.5 miles Pecks Corner Shelter to Cosby Knob Shelter. Low spirits today. Rain off and on all day, and we got a lower start this morning because of it. Slow going with all the mud and rocks. Greg’s foot hurting tonight – he’s taken Advil and has it elevated, not sure what the deal is bunion area, though he has no bunion).
Day 31 (Apr. 21st) – 10.7 miles Cosby Knob Shelter to Standing Bear Farm Hostel. Today was a better day! Made it out of the Smokies today and there was trail magic waiting for us. Greg’s foot MUCH better, he used my bunion pad today and with dry socks and more Advil he felt good. Still swollen but not hurting as bad. It was a sunny day until early afternoon when it poured on us. We are at Standing Bear (which we wanted to go slightly past, but with the rain we decided to stay). There is a resupply box here from Mom Beck which had some extra goodies in it (thanks Mom!).
Day 32 (Apr. 22nd) – We are slackers! We slack-packed today, and hiked 10 miles before lunch! Slack packing is hiking without our full-weight packs. Someone drove us ahead of the trail 10 miles this morning and dropped us off. We had a small day pack we shared with just water and snacks and rain jackets. Then wE hiked back (south) to the Hostel, where we’ll stay again tonight. It was awesome! Even though we had a 3-mile uphill climb, we seemed to be flying. Did about 3 miles/hour today (vs our regular just under 2/hour). Having no heavy packs on made a huge difference. It did rain on us a bit towards the end, but we didn’t care. We just took showers and are going to see about getting a frozen pizza to make for a late lunch/early dinner. Life is good.