Tennessee bald

Mile 243.7—Bush camp near Painter Creek
Monday, April 8

As it turned out, the night in the shelter was good. It rained and thundered torrentially all night. I do think a mouse ran over my head, though. Like they do.

Some people really love shelter life.

Got out of the Smokies at 10:30, and to Standing Bear by 12:30ish. Picked up my resupply (thank you, brother John!), ate a bagel… and lo and behold, they now do outgoing mail! So I was able to lose 2 pounds of Smokies-specific gear.

Had a mini-meltdown when I lost my poles. Spruce Lee found them. They were right next to my pack! I’d mistaken my duct tape for a fliplock. D’oh!

LOTS of hikers I know are at Standing Bear. I didn’t stay. (Spruce Lee and Shitaki are also somewhere on this mountain.)

I broke out the shorts today.

It POURED after Standing Bear and I got drenched. Then it stopped, and I said I’d camp at the next flat spot. And the next flat spot was this beautiful spot I’d passed and fallen in love with in 2013. So I finally can camp here.

It’s POURING rain again. But I’m warm in my tent!

I heard the laundromat in Hot Springs closed. That’s a problem.

Tomorrow: Max Patch!