Today was a town day so we got an early start. We ended up doing 10.4 trail miles, plus some additional walking of a couple miles. We had originally planned to stay at Kincora since we had packages there. It was a little bit off the trail and no one was there to get the packages for us when we arrived. I stayed to wait and Stretch went off to check out the hostel / cabins in the other direction. Of course there was no phone signal to communicate what was going on in either place. I finally was able to get the packages and started walking back to the trail with Tie-Dye, where we met Stretch. We decided to go the few more miles into town.
The trail was beautiful in those miles, mostly following the water and culminating in Laurel Falls, the biggest waterfall I’ve seen on the AT yet. It was a gorgeous hike and had so many good campsites along it. There was a 1 mile side trail into Hampton, TN, and we checked into the Braemar Castle Hostel, a cool old building. After showering, we went down to the local computer repair shop / laundromat / pool hall / hamburger stand / bicycle shop to hang out. Yes, it is a small town. But we were able to eat and catch up on some computer things and hang out with other hikers all while doing laundry. We spent quite a bit of time there, but did not compare with the one hiker who hadn’t left the place in 2 days (he’s also helping build a hostel out back and so sleeping there).
Finally back to our hostel to sort out my resupply needs and some things I’m sending home in the morning. I’m switching up my clothing a bit to account for warmer weather while not quite getting rid of all my winter things.