Mile 1868.8 (TN/NC): May 10, Uncle Johnny’s Hostel to Tentsite near Spring

Tony and Cathy introduced me to a traditional German breakfast called “knipp.” Cathy is of German heritage on both sides of her family and grew up with this. She told me it’s made from pork and whole oats and sort of has the consistency of breakfast sausage. So, both mornings I departed their place, I went out fueled up with knipp. Today we had coffee and knipp in their sunroom and it made me want to stay a little longer. Oh, and I’m sold on the knipp thing and may try playing around with the idea once I get home…

Cathy returned me to Uncle Johnny’s Hostel and I dropped of some of my excess food in the hiker box. I had taken some snacks from there yesterday and today I left a bunch of oatmeal packets and a couple protein bars I didn’t need. 

I headed uphill and almost immediately was treated to several beautiful views of the river valley below. 

I also started passing people right away heading to town. It was like salmon spawning and I hadn’t gotten the memo. I must have passed 30 people by 3pm, most trying to hurry toward town before the rain this weekend. The forecast calls for heavy rain and possible thunderstorms both tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday with rain tapering off Monday morning. 

Mid afternoon the trail emerged onto another grassy pasture below Big Bald Mountain. True to its name, Big Bald was completely that. The trail went up the mountain and straight to the top with 360 degree views of mountains in every direction. 

Then, back down into the woods with blooming flowers. 

Then the trail turned steeply downhill and I went a few more miles to a tent site with little spring for water. I stopped around 5pm, already tired. There was still a lot of daylight but I thought it better to save my energy for the next two rain days. And I was all set up and sleeping before the light had completely disappeared for the day… 

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