We had a slow start, but still managed to make it to the Blueberry Patch Hostel by about 11am and got there just in time to get the last two spots. The Poteats are a wonderful couple that run a donation based hiker hostel near Hiawasee, GA. They accept mail drops for hikers, provide a place to shower and relax, and even took care of our smelly hiker laundry. We greatly appreciated their wonderful hospitality, especially after a couple of cold damp days in the woods.
We hitched a ride into town to find some fleece long underwear for me and some insoles to help Jonathan’s knees. While there we also checked out the local Chinese buffet, which was decent and mostly graciously plentiful. As our mileages are increasing so are our appetites. We also made a reservation for the next night at a hotel in town. We are hoping that an extra day of rest will help Jonathan’s knees heal and let us walk normals speed down hill as well as up.
The rest day at the hotel gave us a chance to take out all of our gear, look it over, and decide what we were carrying we didn’t really need. I think we got rid of around 1.5 pounds of stuff between the two of us. I wouldn’t have said we were carrying a lot of extra stuff to begin with, but I suppose the meaning of “necessary” changes considerably when you have to haul everything you have up and down mountains with you. Picking up our packs to start back out on the trail it amazed me how much lighter they felt even fully loaded with food and water, although I could just be getting used to carrying it.