Day 36 – 37 Max Patch NC to Cocke TN on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Tuesday 16 May and Wednesday 17 May

Total Distance: 21.5 km

Mountains: Max Patch Summit

After exiting the Smokies I had to resupply at Standing Bear Hostel as I took longer than expected and I also wanted to sleep in a bed being on the tail end of my stomach bug and all.

Well things didn’t quite work out like that at all. Standing Bear Hostel is a very relaxed place and they had a new worker on who seemed a bit like a space cadet – not really with us. Anyway as it turned out, I ended up having to pay to tent, and didn’t realise at the time but bought food which was out of date, some since October last year. I was a bit worried since my usual iron constitution had bee compromised bit all turned out okay.

As is the way of the Appalachian Trail One has to smile when exiting a resupply and climbing uphill. I thought the Smokies were over and in the beginning was quite enthusiastic about the climb up over 4000ft in 5 miles…after the first couple of miles my smile had been replaced by the just keep walking grimace I have developed.

The Trail is marked with white blazes painted on trees, however North Carolina must be experimenting with a more sleek and stylish look.

Today Betty Crocker and I are going to camp on Max Patch Summit.

She has a few friends turning up with food which I am looking forward to cashing in on – I even had the cheek to ask for a couple of oranges to be included. How cool is that?! Her friends are driving two hours return to spend some time with Betty Crocker and watch the sunset.

Oh and what a sunset

There were not as many tents on the summit as I thought there might be. One reason could be no privy in sight, so I had to walk downhill 45mins in the morning, then quickly get back up the Summit to watch the sunrise.

It was a really cool experience to lie there in my tent on a mountain top with the flaps open and watch the sunrise. Hopefully the first of many to come.

The climb out of Standing Bear and up to Max Patch was exhausting so by the time Betty Crickers friends turned up I was ravenous and could do no more than eat and attempt polite conversation.

As beautiful as all of this is, I am looking forward to getting to Hot Springs and taking a zero. Before I left Gaitlinburg I ordered some new shoes as mine have come to the end of their days especially since they are only runners and not trekking shoes. But boy are these the shoes for me; I have had no feet issues so far – knock on wood and can’t wait to feel what it’s like to have tread on my shoes again 😊


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