Day 28: Skipping Into Hot Springs, North Carolina

Appalachian Trail: Day #28

Deer Park Mountain Shelter –> Hot Springs, NC: 3.2 miles

Total AT miles: 273.7

A cold morning in the shelter keeps us snuggled, but not for long. Town calls and a famous one at that. We quickly pack our belongings and walk, sometimes run, into town. We satiate our hunger at the local bar where we run into Moonboots and the crew. They’ve been in town a while and filling their bellies before heading out. It is good to see everyone.

Next, we search for lodging. We tried contacting a woman about a cabin but with little reception in the woods were unable. We called when we arrived, but she went hiking! Oh well. Across the street is the Laughing Heart Hostel. We laid in the grass snacking on a bowl of apples and strawberries, generously donated by a local church, while we tried to decide.

The decision was made for us when Solo asked for two work-stay volunteers. He and his friend were heading out of town and his partner, Tie, needed some hands. Orion and I gladly accepted the position. We set up home in the warm and friendly hostel then got busy with chores before relaxing the night away.

Cuddled up on a cold morning in the Deer Park Mountain Shelter before braving the cold to hike into Hot Springs.
Packing up at the shelter.
A frog in a crystal clear mountain stream.
Reflection in the stream.
Hot Springs, here we come!
Mountain Goat skipping down the trail excited by the prospect of “chicken in bag.” Rotisserie chicken.
All we talk about on run into towns is food.


Good ol’ Appalachian Trail marker.
A child’s guide to the Appalachian Trail.
Make sure to take a picture of your family to keep the loneliness at bay!
We made it to Hot Springs!
AT blaze in the side.
The sidewalk is the trail in this town.
A man gives a tour of his tiny house on the outskirts of Hot Springs.


Moonboots sporting his fresh cut.
Clutch sporting a mohawk as well.
And, the guy behind the mohawk trend. Cool Dad bought a pair of clippers. Said he cut more than twenty people’s hair!
Would I like one? Hell no!
My burger at the bar in downtown Hot Springs. SOO good!!
Our packs lining the bench in front of the outfitters with Savage, Canuck, and Shaggy in the background.

2 thoughts on “Day 28: Skipping Into Hot Springs, North Carolina

  1. Ryan, If you’ve mentioned your trail-name in previous posts, I’ve forgotten it. I woke at 2a.m and read all your posts! Judging by your archives, you’ve been at this awhile and it shows: positive info. & great pix. Your ‘about’ page is wonderful…smart of you to tackle your fears early on! I started a blog because I intend to do the AT’17 (not a pitch to read it, you are too busy) so I am following you and a few others to read about your experiences and advice. Happy Trails!! *ps: I love the Max Patch post…made me wish I was right there. You and your trail-fam are doing it right by ENJOYING the journey, not racing to The End.

    • Hi! My trail name is Kodak named for the moments I attempted to capture. Thanks for the kind words! If you have any questions or want some advice feel free to email me:

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