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Three Eagles Outfitters, Franklin, NC

Waiting on the 3pm shuttle out to Winding Stair Gap. Cold already and supposed to rain/snow tonight. Actually tried to stay in town again. Called Gooder Grove Hostel, “No space, hold on, are you cool?” Sure. “Well, um, no, we’re kinda full, but if you can’t find anywhere give me a call and I’ll see if I can find a place for you.”

So, Bojangles for fried chicken like I’d planned. Spent way too much for my birthday and to avoid some of the snow and cold weather and now I’m leaving town late. But I don’t plan on hiking much, just enough to set up camp and get ready for the last of the storm and a couple of days of 10 degree F overnight temperatures. Even bought a $3 sunshade for a car windshield from Dollar General to use as my sleeping pad since I wasn’t able to find and patch the hole in my Thermarest.

Tempted to turn around and hike south, but I already paid for my Smokies permit. Just haven’t been able to print it yet. No email when I was in town and now here at the outfitter, they can’t get the computer to connect to the internet. So hopefully at the NOC.

Tinman, an older hiker sees me waiting and offers to ask his friend if I can crash on the floor of their Microtel hotel room. “Already have my mind set to be in the cold tonight. But thanks,” I say.

“That’s all you got?” He asks, pointing to my pack.

“Yep.”

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