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Trail Memories: Hot Fire, Cold Day (4/12/2011)

2011 November 5

P1030763

On April 12th, after spending a zero day in Erwin, TN (one night at Uncle Johnny’s, one night at the Holiday Inn Express), we hiked out in a cold rain. It was tough to leave in the rain, but after spending a zero day in town, we needed to get rolling.

This picture was taken at around noon, maybe a little later. We stopped at the first shelter out of town (5 miles away) for a break because there were some folks we really liked hanging out there. Iron Mike (standing) and Tabasco (maroon jacket) were traveling together and were renowned fire starters. As soon as we took our packs off, they started trying to talk us into staying by promising a big fire. We had left town with Supa Chef and Speedy Gonzalez and were planning to hit the next shelter at least before we stopped for the day.

Chef and Speedy are rock solid in their resolve. Muggle and me? Not so much. With Chef and Speedy already a few minutes ahead of us, we got as far as putting our packs on and taking 10 steps before we said, “Screw it. We’re staying!”, and stripped off our packs and plunked down by the fire.

Mike and Tabasco were dead on, too. Even in the drizzle they got a roaring fire going that burned/incinerated aluminum cans. I think even one of the stumps you see above made it into the fire. We spent the next 6 hours sitting around the toasty fire with Mike, Tabasco, The Conversation (red jacket), his cousin Chopper, and Colonel. Fun group!

I do have to include that we felt AWFUL afterwards for not meeting up with Chef and Speedy that evening. It sounded like they had a pretty crappy evening in windy rain, getting everything wet where we were SUPPOSED to have met them. But the next day we caught up to them (they were, uh, drying their gear over a long lunch). We sat down for a little break to continue drying out. We decided since we were so refreshed from our long break the day before, we could probably put in a few more miles. Just as we started putting on our packs,  up walked the Professor. After a long hiatus, it was good to see an old friend.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Amish permalink
    December 8, 2011

    Congrats. I was reading your post not thinking of the year that I recognized Bud heavy. I’m glad to hear you had a good stay at the Lake of the Clouds contrary to my experience, when there wasn’t any room left for me.

  2. December 13, 2011

    Nothing like getting warm around a campfire in muggy weather!

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