Day 50: Down the rabbit hole

Greasy Creek Hostel, mile something or other

I’m in the Greasy Creek Hostel. I wasn’t actually planning to stay in a hostel. But you know, I was hiking along and starting to get anxious about the resupply in Hampton. I haven’t hitchhiked; it’s one of those things I just can’t get past. Hampton is 4 miles from the trail. So… worry! Then as I was hiking today, I spotted this hostel in the book. A half mile from the trail, and they have a small resupply stock. OK, I thought! Two days’ resupply will get me to Damascus! And the weather report helped; they’re calling for torrential rain and 30 mph winds, according to the HGN. I can carry 7 days’ worth of food. I can’t carry 7 days of food and a wet tent up Roan Mountain.

Anyway. Back to the beginning. Unaka Mountain really was pretty. A carpet of red needles, and tall pines that blocked the sun. It was a shadowed quiet place. The trail wasn’t even visible in places. Luckily, the blazes were.

Then it was back into the bleak brown.

I took a tumble once and my stick went flying off the trail! I had to creep out on a fallen tree like walking the plank. Another hiker, named Preacher, showed up and gave me a hand. That’s the second Preacher! I’ve met two Peanuts. Today I met a second Miami. And here at the hostel is another Dreamer—the hiker gal who got the last bunk at Marian’s last week at Sam’s Gap.

It was a weird day. I fought with my gear all day! Straps, jacket, shoes… it all seemed to grow lumps and tentacles.

Trail magic! A guy named Mr. Byrd (I forget his first name!) was at Iron Gap with sodas! Thank you, Mr. Byrd! Mr. Byrd ran a hostel in Massachusetts for 15 years. He moved here in December and can’t stay away. He was a funny guy–reminded me of a skinny John Goodman. A hiker asked him, “So, have you hiked the trail?” And he laughed and answered, “No. I think you’re all fucking nuts!”

I agree. πŸ™‚

So I’m here at the hostel. One lady runs it out of her house. I’ve got the sofa. No big resupply, but I think I can get to Damascus. The place is crowded with hikers, mostly in their twenties. I know a few—Hey Everybody and Professor. Also, there’s a guy named Bones. We have some things in common, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for him!

Hostels. They’re a crapshoot!

And guess who just walked in? Fifteen!





Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Day 50: Down the rabbit hole

  1. Beth

    Hey Karma, we met Hey Everybody in Gatlinberg, nice guy…..If you run across him again say Hey from Beth and Bernie… least the moss is green. Happy Trails. Beth

  2. Good on you staying in the hostel and out of the weather. You are doing well and I am glad someone that has done the trail told you that. A bunch of us are rooting for you.
    I like your blog a lot. Mostly because you are so pragmatic and resourceful. I really admire your process and how you are doing this.

  3. Anne P

    So glad to see your post. I thought I would be without Karma for weeks. Love the trail names.. Hey Everybody.. Ha! On to Damascus! So biblical. glad your feet stopped barking. Sending good wishes from here on my couch, hanging on your every word. πŸ™‚

  4. Derek Vreeland

    It was good to see you in Dreamer’s video here: at 10:15.

  5. Donna

    You are doing great. Congrats on a 15er. I think the food fuel is doing the trick. Wishing you great weather.

  6. Hey Karma13! I am new to following your blog thanks to Marge! This is Susan O from home, blonde, short. I have benefitted from your wisdom in the past and now I get to live vicariously through all your adventures in Appalachian Trail wonderland!! You are an inspiration and a motivator that anything is possible. Sending you blue skies, warm breezes and lots of positive energy!!

  7. Tom henninger

    Holy crap! What an adventure. Good luck Ill be following you.

  8. Ann Kerwood aka birch

    Karma. Hi! Just started following your blog. I love your style. I had the same issue as you during my hike – related to calories. Don’t worry. Your appetite will kick in until then just force yourself to eat as much as you can especially high calorie foods. I also did what you are doing – I hiked slow and steady and took as many neros/zeros as possible. I too found it necessary to be alone and recharged. Hike your own hike. I’ll look for you when you get further north. Birch (finished in 2010)

  9. We’re stuck in Damascus for a few days with injuries/blisters. Hope to run into you again soon! Happy hiking!
    -Sparky and Orange Peel

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