Day 31: Goodbye Hot Springs


Appalachian Trail: Day #31

Hot Springs, North Carolina –> Spring Mountain Shelter: 11 miles

Total AT Miles: 284.7

Morning in the Laughing Heart Hostel on our final day in Hot Springs is a depressing, stressful time. At least before the walking begins. But I always feel like this during the transition between stationary and moving. And it always passes once my pack is swung onto my back or my leg over the bar of my bike.

I cook breakfast for myself, Orion, and Bahala Nah whose birthday is today. I scramble another dozen eggs while the spaghetti ingredients – onion, sausage, and tomato – cook. I fry the eggs and add the filling. To top the omelettes, I add leftover spaghetti sauce made by Orion last night and as much parmigiana as I dare. Delicious, filling, and fun to make. I miss cooking on a “real” stove.

Orion leaves heading up the trail. I spend a while longer working on the blog then walk out of town myself ending the anxiety of the morning. My pack is heavy and the walk is a bit of an uphill slog. We make it to camp before dark just in time for snow to fall.

Orion made spaghetti dinner for us last night so I cooked breakfast.
Orion enjoying his omelette.
Appalachian Trail: Maine to Georgia!
The hallway of the Laughing Heart Hostel.
Tie of the Laughing Heart Hostel and her touring bike that a tired tourer practically gave to her. Somebody was tired of bike touring 😦
These guys are stocking the stream in Hot Springs with trout.
Flying fish!
Lindsay and Patrice are filming for a documentary on female thru-hikers. www,
Linsay and Patrice interviewing Lady Catherine.
The river flowing through Hot Springs.
Leaving Hot Springs, the trail turns off the road and follows the river.
Then climbs a rocky mountain.
Someone drew this on a tree. Art or Graffiti?
Little flowers along the trail.
Dr. Kool-Aid taking in the serenity of this pond on a lunch break.


A bridge crosses the highway. I
“Love all. Exclude none.”
Squeezing water through a Sawyer water filter into the bladder of his pack.
And time for a back-flush. Water filters clog over time. To clear them out, Dr. Kool-AId simply allows water to flow from the bladder in his pack back through the filter into the dirty water bag.
This mouse looks so peaceful in his little grave: a hollow of a tree.
The hollow where the mouse lies to rest.
The view from a tower on top of a mountain.
Descending in the wet, windy conditions felt a little sketchy.
Cherokee Nation Forest.

One thought on “Day 31: Goodbye Hot Springs

  1. Hope to see you when you reach NJ. I m a trail maintainer here in NJ and have been following your blog. I maintain the section between the Brink’s Road shelter and Jacob’s Ladder. NJ has well-maintained trails but lots of bears (no lions or tigers though).

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