Sleeping in the No Business Knob shelter was one of the best moves we’ve made. It rained a lot overnight, and our sleep systems stayed dry. We woke and packed a little later than 19, Bubba, and Max and had a hot breakfast of oatmeal.
We had six miles, mostly downhill from 3190 feet to 1742. We left at 8:15. When it started to rain again, we put rain gear on. I just put on the jacket since it was sprinkling off and on.
We hiked along in the misty rain through sometimes narrow, wet Rhododendron-lined sections. The easy climb got harder later, which we knew led to the final three mile downhill into Erwin. Tandem went ahead, and I took my time enjoying the views of the Nolichucky River and the town.
It was raining harder when I reached Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel at 11:00, where I found Tandem under cover on the deck. We discussed our lodging options and agreed on a private cabin here. We went into the very warm and dry hostel outfitters office to check in. There was only one cabin left with a double bed, so we took it.
The room wasn’t going to be ready until after 13:00, so we took advantage of the free shuttle to Pizza Plus for the AYCE pizza and salad bar. We were with Max and Hoss and ate for two hours until the shuttle returned. On the way back, Tandem had to stop at the post office to fax a tax document update, which cost an extra $5 for the side trip.
We checked in to cabin D, unpacked, and I took a shower. We had dozens of VHS movies in drawers and a video/tv combo. Tandem chose the movie You’ve Got Mail. We enjoyed relaxing and watching the movie. After Tandem showered, we got ready to go for dinner. Eleven hikers were shuttled to Los Jalapeños for $.99 tacos and draft beer.
After dinner, we went next door to Walmart to restock our food supply, and I found a geocache in a tree by the parking lot. We got what we needed for the 50 miles to Roan and also some playing cards. When we got back, we sorted our food, started laundry, and gathered in the hostel and played a few games of Spades.
Later I researched how to get my pack belt replaced with a smaller one. My current one won’t tighten around my waist any further and has to be righted more than a dozen times a day. I hope to get it by the time we get to Damascus, VA. I also worked on a swollen blister on the side of my left foot. We turned in around 23:30.