Day 38 – 39 Cocke TN to Hot Springs NC on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Thursday 18 May and Friday 19 May

Total Distance: 32 km

Mountains: Walnut Mountain 4245ft, Bluff Mountain 3686ft, Deer Park Mountain 2571ft

It was soooo good to see and hear civilisation sounds in Hot Springs. There is something to be said for showers, laundry, water on tap, flushing toilets and other niceties.

However this zero turned into a drama as have my previous couple and not turned out how I thought they might. The only good thing is I got a much needed zero and will have a Nero tomorrow as I won’t get back into Hot Springs till the afternoon – but I jump ahead of myself.

Hot Springs is the first town the trail goes right through. It is a small town and really well equipped to look after hikers. I was going to take a zero here however there was a car and bike convention on and not room was available…so decided to take time off in Asheville.

One of the hikers I am friendly with lives here and she may have jury service so she has a friend coming to hot springs to pick her up. Therefore I will catch a ride with them then Betty Crocker will drop me back in Hot Springs on Saturday. I had grand plans of seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 however I was so tired in the end I went to sleep instead.

My shoes are only runners and do not have trekking tread – but they fit my feet perfectly and I have had no blisters or any foot trouble. All the rocks, roots and kilometres have taken their toll. I ordered more of the same shoe, had them sent to the Outfitters and picked them up before I left town. It will be great to have some cushioning from the rocky trail again – the tread difference is noticeable.

Asheville seems to be a really artsy type of town, one where you could motel it and wander the streets, museums, see local bands and go out for dessert. Ahhh holidays. Even when staying in motels it never feels like a ‘holiday’ as such as your time is spent going over your gear, doing laundry and resupplying/repackaging.

I contacted Tom my past personal trainer for some tips and pointers on how to get the most out of my legs cause time is a ticking and I need to be doing more mileage. He was a great help and I have now increased my daily calorie intake to approx 2700, with 1041 calories for breakfast! Will be interesting to see how my energy levels change, if at all, and what the impact might be – will keep you posted.

Trail days which is a huge hiker event is going on in Damascus at the moment (which I didn’t go to) with some of my hiker family attending…resulting in us dispersing, hopefully I may see some of them on the trail again 😊

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