Woke up at 6:00am and got on the trail by 7:00am. Made it to Newfound Gap at 9:00am. About 4.5 miles. Took it slow because the views were really beautiful with the sunrise. We got a hitch around 9:30am into Gatlinburg, TN.
We took the trolley around town to resupply food, eat some McDonalds, pickup my tent body at the post office, and take a hot shower at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Even had time to charge our phones at the local pub and have a few beers.
After our showers we made our way back toward the road back to Newfound Gap to try and hitch a ride. Took us about 30 minutes to get a ride.
We got back on the trail at 6:30pm to finish the last 10.5 miles to the shelter. We stopped to eat dinner at a rock outcrop called Charlie’s Bunion. We made it just in time to catch the sunset. It was magnificent. Was really at peace hopping around the rocks jutting out over a 6000 foot cliff. Awesome time with Coach and Mellow Jonny.
We hit the trail again at around 8:30pm and started night hiking. With headlamps on it was a lot slower but the view of the stars and distant city lights made it a trip I will never forget.
We finally made it to the shelter around midnight tired and ready for bed. Long day but worth it. Hopefully more good times like tonight.