Franklin, NC

Day 9

hiked today: 8.4
hiked total: 107.7
to katahdin: 2071.3

Today we woke up a little later than usual since neither of us heard the alarm go off. It wasn't rainy or foggy so we knew it was going to be nice. We got packed up and started on the short day to Franklin. Finally, we were able to see the views of NC (which pretty much looked the same as GA) because the fog was gone. It was sunny and cool all day. We startled some birds that were fairly large, but when they flapped their wings it sounded like a huge humming bird. Not sure what kind it was, but it was loud, and fast. Other than that, the trail was pretty fast and dry. We got to Winding Stair Gap at 11:15 and sat down to call some of the hostels. The guy at the Budget Inn said there wasn't any work for stay available, but later on we talked to Ron Haven and it looks like it might be possible to get a zero day after all! (After 114 miles, Andy needs one too) We got ready to hitch over to Franklin which is about 10 miles East of the trail, and stood there for about 20 minutes when a little car pulls over just far enough ahead so we weren't sure if they were stopping for us, or to get on the trail which was just ahead. A woman gets out and waves us over, so we start walking over. Soon enough, I realize its Jen from Mountain Crossings! She was shuttling a guy we passed on the trail who was section hiking to Franklin to pick up his car. It was funny, and very fortunate, to run into her. She drove us to the Budget Inn, and then he drove us to the outfitter to resupply.

After we got a few things at the outfitter, we got a large meal at Sonics (something we have both seen copious amounts of commercials for, but never have actually been to) and then walked over to the Ingles to get some food for the next few days. Instead of walking the 2 miles back to the hotel, we went back to the outfitters to see if one of the nice ladies working there were able to drive us over. Unfortunately, they weren't, but one of them called her mother to pick us up! Her father hiked the trail last year, so they were big on Trail Magic. After talking to the two women for a little while, the mother came and picked us up to bring us over to the hotel. Unfortuantely, we forgot to get all of their names so I can thank them here, but gave the mom this site so maybe she will comment to make their names known!

We plan to get a large pizza with more toppings then I care to type out and sleep well. Hopefully we will be able to have a zero day, if not, a nice man named Deakon will pick us up at 7:30. We met him at the outfitter, and his wife is starting right where we left off tomorrow so they offered to pick us up on the way.

Edit: The girls names were Becky and Jamaica, and Becky's mom is Susan, so thank you all!