Mile 273.7, Elevation 1,326
I woke up early mostly to get out of the shelter as soon as possible. By 7 AM, I was on my way. The plan was to beat the rain and hike 13 miles into Hot Springs. There were a couple of big ups and downs (3700 ft to 4686 ft the biggest), and my legs were just not working like they should. Still I made good time on the downhill part of the hike and arrived in Hot Springs at 2 PM.
The map show the location of Hot Springs, NC. The Appalachian Trail goes right through town. You can tell if you are on it by the markings on the sidewalk. Main street at dusk.
What a neat little town this is. The population is only 560, and they cater to hikers. I'm staying at Elmer's Sunnybank Inn, which is an old Victorian house built in 1840. Sometime after 1912, the Gentry family took over the Sunnybank boardinghouse, and it remained in the Gentry family for over half a century. In 1980, the Sunnybank Inn was placed in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior in recognition of its significant role in American history, architecture, and culture. In 1989, the State of North Carolina erected a historical marker in recognition of Jane Gentry’s unique contribution to the tradition of balladry in the southern Appalachian mountains.
Tonight I slept in a really comfortable single room, but I'll have to move to a double tomorrow. They have a scale and I weighed myself - very scary. I'm down to 136 lbs. The only meals I've been eating are dinners and little snack bars or beef Jerky the rest of the time. That has to change.
All the hikers in town met at the Spring Creek Tavern in the evening where I loaded up on calories (ran out of pie - darn). While there, a huge cloud burst hit. It was raining so hard you couldn't see the mountains. Awesome! Glad I wasn't there.