Mile 273.9 Hot Springs, NC Follow (x4) the white-blazed trail.

We’re off to reach Katahdin, the wonderful mountain of Maine. We hear it is a hike of a hike if ever a hike there was. If ever a hike there was, it’s this because, because, because, because…because of the mountains and miles it does.
Before getting back on the trail Chaos, Dip & Sip, and I had a regular Gatlinburg adventure. This entailed getting to the Food City. All we had to do is pay 50 cents to get on the red tourist shuttle and then switch to the blue tourist shuttle for another 50 cents. We got impatient at the switch over and decided just to walk. However, what our map didn’t tell us is that it wasn’t to scale. The Food City was actually another 2 miles walk down the road, and we certainly aren’t out here for extra credit. The trail miles are enough. Eventually we found another bus stop to pick up the blue line and get to the food city. However, prior to that we saw advertisments for the Hatfield and McCoy themed Dinner Theatre and the Dukes of Hazzard “Cooter-themed” mini-golf and go-cart racing. These were certainly difficult temptations to resists but we managed to swim past this Scylla and Charybdis.
Right now I’m in Hot Springs NC and am hoping to get a room at the Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn – an historic house used as a hotel. There is supposed to be a room opening up if one of the reserved people does not show up. I’m hoping to stay here for a couple of days to avoid a rainstorms and take me first 0 day. Today, we the lure of town at hand I skipped lunch entirely and made 18.5 miles in 6 hours into town. I’m expecting my brother and his girlfriend to come visit tomorrow but there is no cell service here with AT&T so I’m not really sure.
A couple days ago I crossed over (or rather, under) I-40 here in NC. It’s amazing how slow I am compared to auto traffic. Right after the highways I stayed at the Standing Bear Farm hostel. I had pictured a nice big farm and old farm house. Instead it was more of a hippie commune. But, when extra miles are the only other options, you take what you can get.
Yesterday I hiked with “Slim Jim” of Tennessee. We got poured on and completely soaked by a rainstorm that came in. It got a bit cold as well. Then, suddenly, it was over. We had been concerned that we’d have to crossover Max Patch (an open bald summit with no trees) during a storm, which we weren’t apt to attempt. Just before the bald the sun came out and we met Onesimus, a former thru-hiker handed out grilled chicken trail magic and keeping us warm by a fire. We got some amazing views on Max Patch as everything suddenly cleared up. Onesimus was surprised that I knew the origin of his name – the slave from the book of Philemon in the New Testament.
I’ve outpaced most of the people I know on the trail and hope many of them will catch up to me here in Hot Springs as I take a zero day. It’s amazing how in 3 short weeks I’m now so much better of a hiker. I often take 1000 ft climbs without a rest and downhills with a pace dictated by the angle of the descent itself.
What else, what else. I’m reading through the New Testament and here are two verses that I’ve noted:
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for the joy thereof goeth and selleth all he hath, and buyeth that field.