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True story of our ride into Gatlinburg

2011 March 28

Once Liz and I had scrambled over Clingmans Dome and Mount Collins, the hike into Newfound Gap wasn’t that tough. However, finding the parking lot hazy with fog and rain meant hitching a ride into Gatlinburg would be tough. Fewer tourists meant a smaller pool of potential rides.

However we did find a couple that were quite gregarious and absolutely astounded that anyone would hike from Georgia to Maine. The conversation went roughly like this:
“So where have you gone? Did you do the Chimneys?”
“No, we’re coming from Silers Bald Shelter today, but we started at Springer Mountain.”
“Springer? Where’s that?”
“WHAT THE @!?! Georgia? How far are you walkin’?”
“Well, hopefully to Maine.”
“Holy @!?& That’s amazing! You trying to get to town? We’ll take y’all”

At this point, “y’all” meant 5 of us piling into the back of their blazer. We didn’t care, but we were wet and muddy so we all took off our shoes to try and keep things as clean as possible. We were just happy to have a ride into Gatlinburg!

So we started down the mountain roads chatting away, offering our trail names and ‘amazing stories’ of our incredible appetites and food plans. How we had plowed through three states ON FOOT and lived to tell the tale. We regaled them with visions of the shelters we all slept in together and the abominable privies that accompanied them. It was outside the realm of understanding to these folks. To be fair, it is for most. But for five hikers who have lived it, it’s not that big a deal.

Five minutes into the drive their windows cracked a bit. Five later they were all the way down. Five after that and the woman turns to the guy and says, “Honey, I’m gonna need you to pull over.”

He pulls into the next side lot he can find, she hops out and runs full tilt for the waterfall. He gets out, comes to the back window, pops it open and apparently identifies the culprit: my incredible foot stink. Now, my feet do smell pretty fierce, I must admit. It turns out everyone else in the truck agreed. I was allowed, after a LOT of laughter and blushed smiling on my part, to put my shoes back on, regardless of the impact on their upholstery. They even offered me a sweet tea to keep them on!

I had caused the lady to dry heave, and then vomit in the waterfall.

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    March 28, 2011

    In the end, this journey is most certain to end up in book form.

  2. Krista permalink
    March 28, 2011

    oh, my word!!! I am LAUGHING SO HARD!!!!!!!!! Sorry, John! What a GREAT story!! LOL

  3. Maggie permalink
    March 28, 2011

    That’s fantastic.

  4. Joel permalink
    March 28, 2011

    So that’s what I smell on small group Tuesdays! Sounds like a crazy adventure. Live it up for the rest of us!

  5. wes permalink
    March 28, 2011

    too bad you already have a trail name.. heather just named you ” poor little “Stinky Hikerfoot.”

    • March 28, 2011

      LOL! That would be a great name. And that’s exactly how things work out here. I’m glad I had a trailname already.

  6. Maranatha permalink
    June 24, 2011

    I vote for stiny hikerfoot!!

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