From the jungle to the arctic.

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First photo: The crew with thumbs up after a neighboring table bought their dinner without telling them.

Second photo: Cherry Gap Shelter.

I hung out in Erwin, TN for two half days. While it has some sort of official “great trail town” designation, it wasn’t. Uncle Johnny’s Hostel was home to over a dozen of us. Besides incredibly hard selling employees, it was fine. They run frequent free shuttles to stores and restaurants. This creates a feeling of being shuttled along through the hiker circuit, the hiker train in a way. I didn’t want to be a part of the tour, so I left the van and spent all day in town on foot.

Erwin is dead. Most of the stores downtown sell antiques (junk). I bought a cool old pin that says “Lets rebuild America in the 80s.”

For a great hiker town, it has no sidewalks. Burned out on the broken American dream, I went to where it’s still being lived. I ate at Mexican Restaurant, an eatery straight out of Mexico. It was refreshing and delicious.

I pulled north out of Uncle Johnny’s this morning after ten. I walked with Freefall, and also Llama Legs. He’s been an amusing feature in the shelter registers, writing comedy and gibberish in ALL CAPS. It turns out that he recognized me from one of my youtube videos.

Today was a special day to be out here. The forest was covered in ice and snow. It was beautiful. Simple as that. I’d never walked in similar.

Tonight, I’m sheltering due to a forecast of snow. Lying next to me is Ewok, likely the last Southbounder. He’s full of positivity.

Great day to be out here. Wish you were here.

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