Friday, September 16, 2016

Day 8 - Stairmaster to the Smokies

9/15/16 - The first thing I check when planning the next day's hike is the elevation profile. Today's looked pretty daunting, with several long climbs and an elevation difference of almost 4000 feet. Thank goodness I was only going 11 miles.
The dim, dusty bunk room at Standing Bear Farm.

My stay at Standing Bear Farm was a mixed bag. The good - $20 for a bunk, shower, and do-it-yourself laundry, plus frozen pizzas and beer (I'll have two pints of Fat Tire, please). The bad - a distinct lack of any basic housekeeping skills. Rustic is cool, but would it hurt to pick up a broom?
Carl, the go-to guy at Standing Bear (he has the key to the beer).

Despite that, I had a relaxing stay and left clean and resupplied, thanks to my mail drop. Soon I dropped my permit in the box and started up.
I'm official!

What was left was a hot, steep climb, made worse by a miscalculation that left me short of water over the last few miles. But all finished well, and I was the first into my shelter for the night. 
The view from my bunk.

Business picked up, and we've got 9 in the shelter, including a young lady who'll finish her flip-flop in Rockfish Gap. 

Shooting for 20 tomorrow, so it's just about bed time for me!

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