A few notes to keep fans amused until the next post.
On the last day in Gatlinburg, Gronk called and told me some of the things he'd been doing. It had been raining all day, so he'd been making lists of his resources, what he had and what he thought he needed. He made the decision to box up a few things and ship them forward to Hot Springs, about 70 miles down the trail. One of the things he put in the box was his Ex-Officio all purpose hiking and biking shirt. It is drip dry, tough, has pockets, vents, tabs, etc. The thing is, it looks like a "regular shirt" and caused some negative comment by a trail maintainer the other day. Gronk and Bonjour (who is "only" section hiking) met this trail maintainer while hiking. He asked them what states they were from and then announced that he knew which hikers would make it all the way through and which wouldn't. He looked at Gronk in his Ex-Officio shirt and said, "you're not going to make it!" He then pronounced that Bonjour in his turtleneck would make it for sure. So aside from being disrespectful and annoying, it had the effect of causing Gronk to work at reducing his pack weight. I don't know if that is good or bad.
In addition to the shirt, Gronk decided he didn't need both rain and wind pants, and he found some flipflops at Walgreens to replace his heavier "camp shoes". Gronk figures it will take him 3 or 4 days to get out of the Smokies. When they emerge from the Smokies, they will cross the I-40 and plan on hitching a ride into Newport where there is a WalMart and they can resupply. Next stop after that will be Hot Springs, where he can pick up the mailed box and re-evaluate his options.
I checked the jet stream because I wondered why they were having such bad weather there and we were so warm up here. Sure enough, if you go back and animate the jet stream, it dipped way down into that states causing them to be cold while we were hot up here.
So that is it for now. I just got my phone bill and realized that unlimited texts are only unlimited within Canada. Yikes. We'll have to communicate as much as we can with wifi now.