I made my way down into the town of Hampton, TN. First stop was McDonalds, then the local pharmacy for knee and ankle supports. I’m all geared up looking like an old man now but feeing much more spry.
I went ahead and got a support for everything. I figured what’s not hurting or injured, will, so I’m taking some preventative maintenance measures this time. They are really helping.
I would actually suggest anyone planing on pushing themselves to go ahead and gear up beforehand, even if you haven’t experienced knee or ankle problems before.
You simply can’t carry 20-30% of your body weight (in my case 27% when fully stocked) through this terrain without developing joint issues. Do yourself a favor and gear up with supports before things develop. I still have my sites set on landing a 50, but not if it’s going to destroy me.
Everyone met up at a camp ground just before Watauga Lake called Boots Off.
Walking out of town towards the lake I hit a grocery store and grabbed some grilling food.
Another trail friend since the Smokies, Peaceful Turtle, split the cost of the burgers and dogs and we treated the gang. Many hostels have community kitchens and you are free to use their stuff.
Sir Stops A Lot made it down there too. He and Turtle stayed in the bunk house. This property is really nice all around. The laundry service was the best so far. They actually do it for you, use dryer sheets, and return it to you in a clean basket.
And poor Trashalope was laid up in his hammock when I got there. He took an injury falling out of a large tree laying over the trail while trying to cross over it.
Trashalope is like the funny dirty uncle of the tramily that randomly makes appearances. But alas, his appearances are at an end, he is trashed and can “lope” no further. He decided to go home and heal. His spirit is crushed, you can see it all over his face. He’ll for sure return some day.
Trashalope’s name comes from his peculiar methods of resupply. Anytime there is fast food available, he stocks up for 3-4 days. His method is to buy a crap load of dry cheeseburgers and stuff them in his fannypack. The first two days he uses packets of catchup. For days three and beyond he will moisten them back up with Mayo then add condiments.
Yes, apparently McDonalds cheeseburger can be eaten 4 days later… can’t say that I’m surprised. I’ve just never seen anyone actually put this into practice and thrive. Maybe it’s just the power of the Trashalope? Take care dude.
I’ll have to further detail the various peculiar eating and resupply methodologies I’ve encountered from others on the trail at some point…
After lunch we all headed down to the lake to swim and play on the rope swing across the channel.