Mile 1847.8 (TN): May 9, North of Unaka Mountain to Uncle Johnny’s Hostel

Yesterday I wondered how many more perfect days we could get. With all-night gusting wind and occasional rain I believed my question had been answered.

It had sprinkled a bit in the evening, but with no wind. It seemed as though the weather would pass. But at night the wind picked up and the fog was so thick that each gust of wind brought down droplets of condensation from the trees above. My tarp, hung rather high, didn’t keep the spray out very well. So one side of my hammock, and quilt, was slightly damp by morning. I made a minor adjustment to the tarp from inside my hammock one I realized what was happening, which helped. 

With the windy and misty conditions I didn’t sleep much so I packed up early for my half-day hike to Erwin. The trail was mostly covered in rocks and roots, but it was an easy downhill walk otherwise. The fog cleared as I headed downhill as well. 

Once I reached the lower ground the trail again followed and crossed several creeks.

The mountain laurel was just starting to bloom here. This was the first time I had seen these blooms so I enjoyed a few short breaks to appreciate them.

On the way down I got phone signal and texted an update to our friends, Tony and Cathy. Cathy has offered to pick me up for resupply and return me to the trail tomorrow morning. 

As I reached the edge of town the trail joined a bridge across the Nolichucky River. This was a fast moving, wide river, but didn’t look too deep. It looked like a good river for tubing or river rafting on a warm day. 

Directly across the river was Uncle Johnny’s Hostel. It was a relaxed place where I was welcome to sit out front and hang out while I waited for Cathy to pick me up. I bought a few things from the little outfitter / camp store on site while I waited.

Within a few minutes Cathy arrived and she took me by Walmart for resupply then back to their little mountain paradise for one more night. I planned to be at my next stop, Hot Springs, North Carolina in 3.5 days. However, the forecast calls for rain to move in with some heavy thunderstorms over the next several days. So I’m not sure how my progress will be affected by the weather over this time…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *