3.6 miles, 69.6 overall (Hiawassee Budget Inn)
We plan to do a nero into town today so I wake up later than usual to begin packing – 6:45 instead of 6:30. By 8:15 I have packed, eaten breakfast, and had my coffee. I am surprised when at 8:30 the next 2 to be ready are Bunny and Button. As we are preparing to set off Emily arrives. We haven’t seen her in 2 days since Blue Mtn shelter. She pulled a long day yesterday and got up early today to catch us.
We get started with UV and Ninja close behind. It isn’t long before the three of us take the lead. The miles are short today but there are a few short ups. On one of them I make a racecar noise as I start up the hill. UV and Ninja get a kick out of it. On the way down later with UV hot on my heels I half-run down the hill with my arms out like a plane. By the time we get to the road to town they are discussing trail names for me. They suggest Cessna because of the airplane bit but I’m not a fan. Nitrous Oxide is suggested because of my speed up climbs and I kind of like it. It also pays homage to my background in science. I try it out for the rest of the day to see how it feels.
Once everyone gets into town we settle on rooms. I get a big room with Ninja, UV, Emily, and a hiker named Jay who caught us at the shelter last night. The rooms aren’t ready yet so we go to the all you can eat (AYCE) chinese buffet next door and for $8 we are allowed to demolish their buffet. I eat 2 plates and drink a coke by myself.
Once we’re done the rooms are ready so we take showers. We consolidate our clothes to save money on laundry. While the clothes are becoming magically clean again we mill about in rain gear and town clothes. It is during this time that UV discovers she can make a toga out of her sleeping bag liner. She likes it so much that she wears it the rest of the day.
After laundry we hit the grocery store for resupply. Between the leftover food I already have and my mail drop I do not need much, but others get full resupplies. After returning we pack it all up, preparing for our wilderness re-entry. Then we head to dinner – another AYCE buffet. I am not as hungry this time, eating only one plate and a small salad.
Tomorrow we return tithe trail. It should be about 5 days to the NOC, my next resupply point. The shuttle leaves at 9 to take us back to the Appalachian Trail!