Started at Whistling Gap
Ended at Erwin, TN
13.5 miles in a little under 9 hours
We had a great camp spot last night and this morning when the sun came up we had sunshine on the tent. It was a real treat after the rainy start to our hike. Harvey had lost his second tooth yesterday so he was excited to find the $2 the tooth fairy had left him. I guess the tooth fairy was concerned that $10 was a big incentive for a 7 year old to lose teeth. Shortly after breakfast Pete had a tooth come out. Pete says it was loose before Harvey got the $10, but I am not so sure.
After our exciting start we packed up and after about 30 min came to the real Whistling Gap (I know this because the real one has a spring and the spot we stayed at did not). Now we had a 14 mile day!
We took a side trip to "High Rocks" and two military planes flew over. We could see some towns and wondered if they were Erwin. After this the trail was mostly downhill, dropping 2,400 feet into town.
Look up Big Sur Bars, Sydney and I shared one and it was amazing. Not something we would normally eat, but she picked it out and with a name like Big Sur I had to try it.
We also saw the worst shelter on the trail today (No Business Shelter). It was a total dive with no picnic table and made from concrete block that didn't look finished. I wish I had a picture but we were in a rush to reach town. From the shelter it was a steep downhill hike but we got our first views of Erwin.
At the junction of the road and trail we saw Nolichucky Hostel, but everyone calls it Uncle Johnnies because that is the name of the guy who owns/runs it. We met two guys who introduced themselves by trail name, not the normal name. So I introduced us by our trail names, but had to use my real name to get my box. We ate a Clif Bar and it was fun to see the kids so excited about a new flavor, like they are Clif Bar experts.
The guy at the hostel was great and gave us a lift to the Mountain House Inn. In the van were a lot of people we already met; Grace who falls down a lot, Unknown who gave us the name Team Obla after reading Sydney's shelter journal entries (the kids helped pick his trail name), Packer Hat who is wearing a Packers Hat and went to U of Minn, Shivers, and a few other hikers. After dropping us off the others were going out to eat.
Our hotel is nice and I plan to stay two nights so we can rest a day by the pool. I also get to do laundry, the first since Hot Springs. And of course we had to eat out, Mexican because the kids knew we would get chips as soon as we sat down. We ate so much that Harvey felt a little sick. I think we had 4 bowls of chips, 2 salsa cups, 2 guacamole cups, and 4 full size dinner dishes. Pete didn't like his and started to cry and wouldn't eat and wouldn't let us eat his plate and wouldn't order something else. Finally I got him calmed down and we ordered him a plain chicken burrito. After that it was Wal Mart for food and then back to the hotel. For transportation we called a guy (trail name 10k) who drove us both ways. He is planning a PCT trip for 2014. Best of luck 10k!