Hey guys, it's Breeze. I just want to start by apologizing for how spotty the posts have been lately. Neither of us have any service for a few days now. But I can promise you that the wait was worth it. We've had some pretty action packed past few days.
Wendy was feeling much better after Max Patch, so we decided to do a 14 mile day to set us up nicely for our first trail town: Hot Springs. This entire town completely revolves around the Appalachian Trail. The trail actually goes straight down Main Street! The town isn't so much a town as it is a hiker outpost. There is nothing there except what hikers need, including hot, greasy food, a laundromat, an outfitter, and a bar. The place is a perfect hiker haven.
The accommodations and convenience were nothing compared to the biggest surprise of the town visit: other thru hikers! Almost every thru hiker Wendy and I have met over the past month were all there hanging out in the town! Even people we thought would be way ahead of us were hanging out in the tavern and motel. We spent the entire day walking around saying, "No way! I can't believe you're here, man! It's so great to catch up!" There are too many hikers to name, but the highlights include the reemergence of the Hiker Trash (you may remember the Hike Trash from our Plum Orchard post), Wild Willy, Pink Panther (the nine year old), and her family. We also spent a ton of time hanging out with Zeus, the Ref, Snafu, and two New Yorkers, Valkyrie and DT. Within a few hours, many a 6 pack or pitcher had been split, and everyone was really enjoying their time in Hot Springs. The sense of community is indescribable, and the rate at which one obtains friends is equally amazing (and might I add impossible in the real world). The highlight of our time in Hot Springs was definitely going down to the banks of the French Broad River, PBR in tow, and hanging our feet in the water as the night crept in. What a relaxing ending to an epic day.
Hot Springs has definitely been the place to be the past 2 days. In fact, it is an early frontrunner for my best memories on the trail. I took a ton of pictures of all us and the town. Unfortunately, none of these pictures ended up on my phone...
Well guys, I could go on and on telling stories of Hot Springs. For now, I'll just say live is pretty good.
P.s....we went body surfing on the French Broad River. We floated along with the river for a few hundred yards! So awesome, and kinda stupid. Don't tell our moms!