Uncle Johnny's Hostel in Erwin

5-29-12
AT miles hiked today: 16.4
Total AT miles hiked: 341.5

That is my standard dinner the last few days. It's easy and pretty tasty and I get my carbs, candy, protein and fats all at once without cooking or doing dishes. I'm going to try something new soon, but I do get a lot of comments on my burritos and Rockin Robin thought I should take a picture. It's really just my custom trail mix, leftover from the day of snacking, poured on my burrito.

I met Budro as I headed down from Little Bald, after spending the night at Bald Shelter. He is from Louisiana, the French Bayou, and had white hair in a ponytail and no shirt and was on his way to Hot Springs to finish the section that would complete his entire hike of the AT. He asked me my trail name and then tood me that the British motto in World War 2 was "Keep calm and carry on." I love learning that. It adds another dimension to my trail name and I used it on myself later today in the rain.

I didn't mean to hike to Erwin tonight. I thought I would camp at the shelter about six miles south of town, or at a campsite near town. But when Eagle Eye and I got to the shelter the other women had hiked on to town. They left at 3pm and it was after 4pm. We decided to go for it, though we were both worried about money and also knew it would take about three hours. Besides, the shelter was full of trash and just nasty. These Tennessee shelters don't have privies either, which is lame.

We had about two miles left when the rain hit. It came down harder and harder until we were just soaking wet. We couldn't see the view of Erwin and hurried off the ridge as we heard thunder nearby. At first we were tough and practical. We will camp in town or at the hostel, we decided, and buy a shower and laundry. But after almost an hour in the downpour at the end of the day, getting cold and muddy while it was getting dark, we said, okay, we will pay! We will pay to be dry and warm and indoors tonight.

So we finally walked around the bend to the hostel and there were Ewok and Jaybird and a few others all hanging out under the porch. They waved us over and then Nice Lady came around the corner and said she had gotten a cabin with four bunks just in case we came in. Trail Magic from other hikers! I almost cried with relief.

Houdini and the other guys ended up going into town somehow and sitting around until 11pm when a girl got off her shift at work and took them to a campsite by the river. They stayed up all night and the river rose almost to their tents from the rain. I guess that would have been okay, but I am extremely grateful for my trail angels, Barb and Robin and the indoor bunks, showers, and especially the dry clothes.