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North Carolina: Zeros for days

Finally made it into North Carolina and spent way too much time in the black hole known as Franklin, North Carolina. Were about to start moving onto NOC and Fontana Dam but this will catch you up!

Day 9: Shit got real today. I crossed into North Carolina and hit the first concrete milestone for myself on the Appalachian Trail. It was an awesome feeling to see that sign on the tree and an even better release to see the twisty tree! I let out a big war whoop that I’m sure everyone on both sides of the mountain heard.

It looks like I’m still ahead of the people I started with as I’m seeing a ton of new faces. There’s DQ, Sweeps, Groundscore and more! I even caught up with my buddy, Odysseus, from the very beginning. Looks like I’ve got another great crew to spend time with.

Finished off the day with some Blister care and a tuna Mac and cheese casserole. We almost passed up on a fire out of laziness but luckily I convinced the group to help gather wood and start a fire.

Had a great chat that ended with my latest bedtime yet. After hearing my stories a girl I just met said that “I’ve lived” and that she’s jealous of my adventures. I remember when I was in her shoes only a few short months ago. Who knows, maybe my ramblings will inspire her and someday make someone jealous of her. 🙂

Dicks Creek Gap to muskrat
Listening to problem child by villains

Day 10:

Walked only a few miles to the gap before standing Indian and as we were coming down the hill Chewbacca, Odysseus and I were joking about trail magic. “I bet there’s gonna be hot dogs down there…. No I could go for a hamburger.” These were all just wishful thoughts until an angel by the name of breeze and his buddy windy greeted us at the bottom. They shook our hands and asked if we were thru hikers. We had a beer in our hands no sooner than we could get the word yes past our lips. They said they hiked northbound last year and wanted to pay forward some of the trail magic they themselves had received. For the next hour we enjoyed stories, beer, BBQ, and sweets and the group steadily grew as our peers descended into the valley. We went on our way and finished out the day strong. Unfortunately a shelter was overrun by a Douchey group of boy scouts and their leaders so we all made camp a few miles shorter than expected.

Muskrat to beech gap
Listening to divergent by born of Osiris

Day 11: amazing day filled with round 2 of trail magic, views from the top of Albert mountain, meeting Melvin Roberts who was struck by lightning 6 times (look him up), and brews in Franklin with fellow thru hikers. We pulled a 20 to get to the road and quickly found a ride by hitchhiking in(my first time). Got to town and met up with friends at a local bar called mulligans. I chose down on a dank chicken tender sandwich, drank some Sweetwater 420 and played beer pong. Godfather, Irish mist, Odysseus, brave, sweeps, fall and oats, easy day, dq, wild turkey, bengus, sasquatch, Admiral caboose, and tiger gin were all there to share in the festivities.

We left the bar with full stomachs, half drunk, and with blisters on our feet. We got to the sapphire Inn at around midnight and rang the bell at the side of the door. We waited a few minutes and the owner shuffled into view with nothing but a robe on. “You read the sign?! You have a reservation?!” he said. Yeah, it should be under Nick… “NOT HERE YOU DONT!! He screamed angrily. He kept yelling at us from behind the glass box he called home as we walked away to the Knight Inn further up the road. It worked out for the best and we got to watch Game of Thrones, shower, and finally sleep in a comfy bed. I also learned a new phrase…. Cuddle puddle.

Beech gap to Franklin, North Carolina

Day 12: Today was a lazy ass zero in Franklin. Visited outdoor 76 for a good part of the day and got schooled on foot care and anatomy by the famous Rob. The other dude that workedthere wasn’t quite as helpful. Mowwed down on a large 3 topping pizza from domino’s and finished the day at mulligans once again…. Only this time the hikers took over and karaoke Shenanigans ensued.

Day 13: Another zero. Towns really do suck you in and it’s hard to say no to the luxuries and amenities provided to you in small town USA. We literally sat in a hotel room and talked until our shuttle left at 4 o clock. From there we did a quick shop at wal mart and then got picked up to go to vitos restaurant by Mr. Vito himself. Drinks were few tonight but we still had a great time and enjoyed some fantastic food. DQ, sweeps, Odysseus, Sam, and I went back to our room and both the michigander and wisconsinite spoke in “UPer dialect” while eating pickles from a jar and cookie dough straight from a package.

Beech gap to Franklin North Carolina

“For someone so easy going you sure wear pants a lot.”

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m a Yooper, too! Perhaps you’ve shared already and I’ve forgotten – I wouldn’t be surprised – but what’s your trail name?

    April 16, 2014
    • Unfortunately, none have stuck yet. Maybe you could throw out some ideas! Haha

      April 16, 2014
      • The only name I have in mind is Chairman Meow and that’s for a future cat. Your favorite park Zion comes to mind. Be Zion!!! I googled the meaning: in Kabbalah it means “the spiritual point from which reality emerges”…sit in that for a few days and get back to me. Or be the Chairman, but that’s less friendly.

        April 16, 2014

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