What an awesome day. Today was such a great day, I wish we could repeat it again tomorrow. We had a filling breakfast at the Smoky Mountain Diner where we easily downed two plates of food each. We did our laundry and picked up a few things from the outfitters. I needed a new spork since the one in our cookset broke. I had an extra at home that I had forgotten to pack in our bounce box, so I had no choice but to buy a new one. Both Miles and I picked up some sock liners to see if they will help reduce some of our blistering. There were no trail runners here, so I’m going to tough it out with my boots until Damascus.
We met Miles’ grandparents, who live about an hour from here, for lunch at the Spring Creek Tavern. It was such a beautiful day, we decided to eat outside overlooking the French Broad River. We had a great time spending the day with them and they even put us up at the lodge here, which is really nice. A spacious and homey room with a king size bed; we feel spoiled! Hot Springs is a great little trail town and we’ve really enjoyed it here.
We picked up our bounce box from the post office and we were surprised with some food that my mom had sent as well. Among other important staples to our hiker diets was a sleeve of Thin Mints, my favorite Girl Scout cookie of all time. Thanks mom and dad! We’ll be sending a few things home that we don’t need and sending our bounce box up to Pearisburg, VA.
After organizing all of our food, we headed over to the Magnolia Inn with Miles’ grandparents for an amazing dinner. The food was just hands down the best meal I’ve had in awhile. We ate out on the porch and enjoyed an array of delicious dishes from a fruit and cheese plate to chicken piccata and a strawberry custard pie. We had a wonderful time hanging out with Miles’ grandparents all day and the dinner was more than perfect. We can’t thank them enough for all they have done for us in just a matter of hours. It’s so nice to meet up with people you know and share your experiences face-to-face. They are some of our biggest blog fans, so we want to send out a special shout-out to them for their generosity today!
We all headed over to the tavern afterwards to watch the Louisville/Michigan game. I was so tired, so we ended up leaving with about 6 minutes left in the game. I’m not used to staying up this late!
This has definitely been our best zero day so far. The hot weather, spending time with family, eating an amazing dinner, and sleeping in a big warm bed, make this day one to remember. We are really enjoying the hiker life, both on and off the trail. I think we all feel like we’ve seen our fair share of struggles out there with the cold and we all see a brighter trail ahead. Sure, there will be tough moments ahead, but we certainly feel trail-tested. Now if only I could figure out how to get some strawberry custard pie out on the trail with me in one piece.