Day 22: Tri-Corner Knob Shelter to Standing Bear Farm

Today proved to be the exact opposite of yesterday in terms of both weather and mileage. With an almost full day of rest behind us, we got an early start (for us) around 8:00 AM and hiked 17.8 miles. The snow and ice continued for another few miles and once we got below 6,000 ft, it all disappeared. The trail was quite muddy for the rest of the hike, but I’ll take that over ice any day. We passed a plane wreckage along the trail, which was really interesting. It appeared to be an older plane, so I’m curious as to the details of the crash.

We made good time today and hiked almost 9 miles by noon. It didn’t even feel like we were hiking that fast, so maybe we’re starting to get our trail legs? Well, we’ll see about that. The lower part of my shin began to hurt after our first big uphill of the day about halfway through our hike. Could be a shin splint, but I’m really not sure. It continued to hurt, but I really didn’t have any choice but to keep on hiking. Still hurts as I lay here in my sleeping bag. I feel like everyday I have a new ache, pain, or injury. After fixing the issue with my insoles yesterday, I was looking forward to a pain-free hike today. Now I wonder if that will ever happen. I also realized that the continuing pain in my right knee is not from my fall last week, but must be from downhills putting the wear and tear on it. I’m thinking it’s more than from the fall because usually bruises aren’t sore for almost 10 days.

Other than my repertoire of injuries, we feel great out here! Today we exited the Smokies for good. As beautiful as the Smokies are, we were so ready to leave the snow, ice, and cold. It’s looking like spring is finally here and we are so ready for it. We’ve been out here for three weeks enduring cold nights, frozen boots, and icy hikes. I think we’ve been toughing it out long enough, don’t you? I didn’t need to leave Maine to do the hiking that we’ve been doing down here in the South. But enough about the cold. I can’t believe we’ve been hiking for three weeks! We’ve hiked 240.8 miles and will be hiking along the NC/TN border for another 150 miles until we cross over into Tennessee where we’ll hike for about 70 miles before going into Virginia.

Tonight, we’re staying at Standing Bear Farm, a hostel just off the trail in Tennessee. We’re in the bunkhouse for the night. I got in a hot shower, did a bit of laundry, and we got a resupply here. Miles has a small, orange cat sleeping at the end of his bunk and I’m in heaven here as I listen to some Dave Matthews Band while updating this here blog. Unfortunately, the snoring has already started here. When will it end??? I have a feeling the answer is never. I’m liking the idea of secluded campsites more and more after having to sleep in shelters throughout the Smokies. Earplugs can only do so much for this girl. I’ve even started to pick out the snorers before their heads hit the pillow at night. I think I’ve found my calling.

8 thoughts on “Day 22: Tri-Corner Knob Shelter to Standing Bear Farm

  1. Hi Hikers, I reserved and paid for a private room for you at Laughing Heart Hostel in Hot Springs for Sunday night, April 7. Hopefully you wont’ hear all the snoring there. Then we are all staying at the Laughing Heart Lodge on Monday night in a bit more comfort. We hope to be in Hot Springs in time for lunch on Monday.

    Is there anything you would like us to bring you?

    If you are not going to make it to Hot Springs on Sunday as planned, let me know so I can cancel payment.
    Grandma Sharon

  2. Flash, I love you; you make me laugh. Really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work and as I told you things will get better. Just hang in there with the injuries. You will figure it out. Everybody has all kinds of aches and pains and I do hate to see you hurt and hope things will change for you soon.

    1. Thanks Mamaw! I’m going to stick it out to Damascus and get some new shoes there. The weather has certainly turned around for us and we are happy for that. We love you too and had a lot of fun with you the past week!

  3. Hurray for getting through the Smokies safely! Receiving your posts always makes me happy and proud of your efforts and enthusiasm. Get some new shoes soon and enjoy your time with the grandparents. Say hello from us. Xoxo

  4. It seemed like just a few days ago you saw the Smokies from a distance, and now you are already past them! Wow! I am really enjoying your posts and glad you and Miles are doing so well! And having fun while going through the hard parts! (Out of the mouth of babes)……

  5. I can relate to the new aches and pains every day but somehow I think yours will pass more quickly than mine. Seriously, hope you get the feet and knee stuff resolved ASAP. will email a note and pictures from the younger set. Have fun with Grampy and Gramma Sharon! Love + Pride – the other Mom

  6. Hi guys, I’ve enjoyed following your progress. Like you, I am a runner (doing my first full marathon this May). I plan on thru hiking in 2016 when I retire. Do you feel your running has helped you prepare for life on the trail? Do you think your hiking will help your running? Hills are my nemesis in racing.

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