Day 21 (Mile 206.8 – 217.1):

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Morning news: Road closed due to 4-6″ snow on the ridge…decision: flip flop or another day in Gatlinburg.  We are all thinking about a flip flop…meaning we will go up to the next gap, hike south and get a ride north.

Breakfast not as quality as the Quality Inn we stayed at the other night.

Sprout is using her source of subscribers to see if we can get a ride b/c of the limited shuttles.  We are pretty desperate to get out of another night of this town.


Cheaper apparently to stay in town than to flip flop…so many uncertainties.

We do not know what we’re doing still.

“Worried about mental health staying in Gatlinburg” ~ Gains

Three of us were thinking at one point to try and hitch to Hot Springs including me and if unsuccessful, we will stay.

Update at 10am – Newfound Gap may be open at lunch according the park rangers.

12:30pm:  Three of us (Gains, NPA, and I) after the roads opened, managed to get a hitch up to Newfound Gap by two travels from the London. They were saying Hot Springs had 80 degree weather. It is hard to believe how much elevation can change the weather. Very nice people and very appreciative of their help!



The first five miles was okay, but the next miles, I personally found hard to keep my warmth and motivation. Everything worn was wet. If it was just snowing, we would be okay, but it was raining (windy as well) too as we hiked into lower altitudes. I realize the body can take much worse, but spirit wise, I was hallow inside way before making it to the shelter and more if that is even possible when I found that the long awaited shelter was 0.4 miles off the trail. These were the worst conditions I have ever hiked this long in. The only thoughts for the last three miles was, “If I stop, that’s it, I die.”


At the shelter now into dry clothes (not looking forward to putting on wet tomorrow morning). Suprisingly, there are a ton of people at the shelter. Looking back, leaving in these conditions was not smart.  The joke is that it is much better than being in Gatlinburg another night though and well it is true to some degree. =P  Gatlinburg is known to hikers as the hillbilly Las Vegas for those of you who do not know. Great place to drink, but that’s about it.

Gotta buy a platypus just to pee in at night.

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