An unexpected storm last night had us breaking camp in the rain again. We sprinted the three miles into little Hampton Tennessee. We walked into town in the rain until we found a little general store. From there we checked into a hostel to avoid the weather. It looked like there was going to be a three or four hour break in the rain so we decided to “slack pack” the considerable Pond Flat Mountain. Slack packing is having someone drive you a distance forward (in this case seven miles) so you can walk the the trail backwards to your original starting point. The advantage is that you don’t have to carry your 35 pound pack and you end up where you started (in this case a hostel out of the rain). The mountain was big (3.5 miles up and 3.5 miles down) but the climb was relatively gradual and easy. Doubly easy without a pack. So tomorrow they will drive us out the seven miles and we resume from there.
Tonight we are enjoying a frozen pizza, 12er of beer, and some animated Disney VHS tapes with other hikers. What could be better. Happy trails.