Today was pretty laid back. We had Wiggy bring us from the lodge back to NOC. Since we’d done over 17 miles yesterday, we told him to fit us in his schedule at his convenience. No rush. The trip involved us getting out of his vehicle and waiting at some random road while he pressed on with some other hikers, followed by his coming back to scoop us up after their departure. I’m not entirely sure why we weren’t allowed to stay in the vehicle with him. Crazy Brits. At least we got to stand by this sign…
I think we finally got there around 10:30 and decided to have breakfast at the River’s End restaurant on the Nantahala. I spent some time catching up the blog and watching TV.
Apparently today was a good day for hikers to come through, based on the packs.
So we hung out here for a while and grabbed a few things from the general store.
Shortly after that, I had an interview with CW from http://www.hikertrashnation.com for his upcoming podcast. It’s official, I’ve been IN a podcast prior to ever having listened to one or knowing what one is. I’m really not kidding about this, I have no idea what it is. However, being in it, I’d like to at least listen to it, however that works. I’d appreciate any help from you guys. Do I need to download an app? Is it just going to be a link on his website that plays audio or video? Podcast. Time to fire up the Google machine.
I missed his first call because I was on the phone with a reporter from my hometown newspaper who had been shown this blog and was wanting to do a story about my hike. So it begins.
I asked 6’12” if he wanted to be my PR guy from now on. He declined. He keeps calling me a superstar now.
That took up most of the afternoon and when we finally decided to take off, the sky turned black and it started thundering. I was not taking a zero. I was okay with a “near-o,” but not a zero. “If it ain’t rainin, we ain’t trainin.”
Since we have to go straight up for the first seven miles out of NOC, 6’12” decided to go ahead and start early since he knew I’d catch him shortly thereafter. Apparently, in Milwaukee, rain is poisonous and will make you melt because as soon as it started raining, 6’12” made an abrupt left turn and immediately set up camp. I’m talking about he didn’t consider anything else, just freaked out and pitched a tent. I hadn’t caught up to him at this point so I had very little input in the plan.
So, if you’re wondering, camp tonight is less than a mile from NOC and on the side of a mountain in a small valley that’s almost certain to flood his tent during the thunderstorms they’re predicting. Good call, 6’12”. Ground dweller problems.
Currently, something is walking around in our campsite and since we both have cell service, I’m doing my best to text him and convince 6’12” it’s a bear. It’s actually kinda fun, because I know he’s losing his mind down there in his tent thinking there are animals in camp. Fortunately for him, his biggest threat this evening is the incline upon which he’s placed his tent coupled with the looming thunderstorms. I believe his words were, “If it starts storming, I’m going to end up being really good at bobsledding.”
I’m out for the night. We’re going to try to make Fontana Dam by Thursday so I can pick up a package and we can get ready for the smokies. Tomorrow is straight up for about six more miles and then it’s supposed to level out with a gradual descent over the remaining 20 miles. Should be fun.
I’ll catch back up in a few days.