#34: A little flip flopping and Erwin

Uncle Johnny’s

Jesse slack packed today and put down about 15 miles. He caught up with the Hiking Vikings at Uncle Johnny’s Hostel and Outfitter in Erwin. He skipped a 10 mile section so he could get to the post office to pick up a couple supply boxes in Erwin. He will slackpack back ten miles to complete the section he skipped.

Jesse said the vikings were getting a late start and are planning a short 5 mile day tomorrow so Jesse will be able to catch back up with them if not tomorrow then the next day. ( the plan is to hike 15 miles tomorrow and meet up with the Vikings at Curley Maple Gap Shelter at mile 348.5) Skunk,Slim and Cowboy are behind Jesse. They will all likely catch up with each other by this weekend. Storms rolling through tomorrow are looking a tad bit rough. Jesse says setting up camp on the top of a mountain during a thunderstorm is loud and miserable. A little close for comfort. He also reports he lost his pack cover that shields his pack from rain. If he doesn’t spot one at a reasonable price at an outfitter I will have to order one online and ship it to him. For now he has improvised with what he has in hopes of keeping his pack from getting soaked in the upcoming storms.

Jesse was headed to the post office and library to get a power of attorney printed out (the tags on his van expired on his birthday while he was on the trail) and then he’s heading to a Mexican Restaurant in town to put on some calories. He also mentioned they have bikes you can rent to get around town. He was planning on renting one because he thought that would be a fun change.

The terrain is much easier to hike through this section. After the Smoky’s this is a wonderful change. He said he wished there was a sign when he exited the Smoky’s so he could have taken a pic of him in front of it giving it the bird. Needless to say, I wouldn’t expect to see pics of the Smoky’s in any of his highlight reels.

I was mentioning to Jesse about the wild horses ahead in Virginia and that I was surprised it was snowing in that area of Virginia. He said there is snow in front and behind him as well as flooding in Hot Springs and Gaitlinburg which caused a 2 mile detour around a section of the AT. The ones choosing not to detour are hiking in what looks like a moving river. So,it sounds like Jesse is in a pretty good spot on the trail.

UPDATE: With rain coming the vikings have decided to stay another night. So Jesse will hike tomorrow and end up back at the hostel with them. He called and is enjoying a couple beers and some serious tom foolery. Sounds like he’s having a fantastic day. I believe the whole gang will be together very soon.

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