I woke early to pack up and get hiking before the storm arrived. Delicate Flower, my hiking buddy had the same idea. Luckily, the predicted thunderstorm didn’t happen. But the rain came in the form of drizzle that went on and off all morning.
With 9 miles to town of Hot Springs, almost all downhill we made good time, arriving just after 10am. We made a quick stop at the hostel to drop our packs and made our way to the local diner for second breakfast. We grabbed the last spare seats, the place was packed. Dirty smelly hikers sat next to the mountain men and women of the town. We were told it was a long wait for food.
I must have drunk 5 cups of coffee when breakfast finally arrived. Delicate Flower joined me for breakfast and we ate so quickly it was almost glutinous. Next stop was showers, laundry and lunch followed by a bit of time to catch up with some of the hikers. I was now in a place where I actually knew some of the hikers.
I got on contact with one of my old CDT hiking buddies, Karate Kid. We bumped into each other many times on the remote trail. He lives nearby in Asheville and drove out for a beer at the local tavern. One of the other CDT hikers, Anvil, was also there. Earlier I caught up with Sketchy, yet another CDT hiker. It was great to be around other great hikers.