Day 13 – Thursday, March 22
I made it into NOC yesterday in time for a late lunch at the Rivers End Restaurant. The cheeseburger, fries and beer went down without any problems. Later that afternoon, my Mom and Dad drove up from Marietta and joined me for dinner. I think they enjoyed getting to know some fellow hikers and it is very comforting for them to know that I am not alone on my trek. At dinner we were talking with Waldo(trail name),a young guy who has decided to end his attempt of a thru- hike. He is buying a bike instead and riding it back home to Virginia Beach. By the end of dinner my mom got up and gave Waldo a hug and wished him well. Pretty cool…for my mom.
Since I got to NOC a day early, I’ve decided to go ahead and take a zero today and rest my old bones after the first 12 days on the trail. I feel like I’m beginning to get my trail legs under me now and I’m very pleased that I have managed to do 146 miles in the first 12 days out of Amicalola Falls. I’m trying to stay flexible, but I probably won’t take another day off until I reach Erwin, TN around April 7th.
While killing time here today, I was going to check in with the guys at the outfitter store to see if I could borrow a kayak for a while and play around behind the store. I’m going to really miss my kayaking fun this spring and summer so I thought as well try to get some water time in. It didn’t happen, but I enjoyed playing cards with some other hikers for a while. One of my fellow hikers (on the trail for his 2nd thru hike) gave me my trail name tonight. It is “Whitewater“. I accepted it and think it is a perfect fit for me!
Looking forward to my journey through the Smoky Mountains.