May 7: mile 360: Cherry Gap Shelter

We finally got out of Erwin TN despite the continuing winter conditions.  Never stay in a town with a 22 to 0 church to saloon ratio.  What’s wrong with people?  We hiked 17 miles in dry but cold weather. We climbed up and down Beauty Spot ( 5400 feet) and Utakka Mountain ( 6000 feet).  At the shelter it was cold and windy — low 30s and 20 mph winds.  It was the coldest that I have experienced so far. 

Many of our “bubble” are laid up or out of commission.  The Norovirus is ripping up and down the trail.  Big country and Redwood are stuck in Hot Springs recovering.  Radio has his train injury and Bellows is laid up with shin splints.  My boots are disintegrating and being held together with gorilla glue and duck tape.  

The rains are coming, wish us luck.  Happy trails.

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