April 6 - Nantahala Outdoor Center (137.3)

Did a run from the shelter this morning, quite the assortment of terrain and harder than yesterday. I am now sitting in my black base layer (think fancy underwear), grey winter coat, and orange crocs by the side of the river flowing past the NOC while writing this. When you do the AT, nothing comes to you, you have to go to it. So "it" in this case is clean clothes, the wash is running now, so what few decent clothes you have left are what you wear while you wait. I look like a hiker hobo. But then, all hikers look like hobos. Hmmmm.

The NOC was founded in 1972 as the Trail crosses the Cheoah river as primarily a white water facility, but now with two restaurants, motel, hostel, general store and outfitter. I have visions of two hippy types coming up to the side of the river in '72 saying "far out, there could be a business here, man." Totally fictitious, but I like the narrative.

We are staying in the hostel as the motel is full, and resting for a hard climb tomorrow, 3,000 feet in four miles, our biggest continuous climb. Supposed to become less hilly after that as we near Fontana, just before the Smokey Mountains. I got my Thru Hiker permit for the Smokies in the outfitters today, the only permit required along the whole AT.

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