May 8 - Better sleep, better hiking.
It rained all night and was raining in the morning when we set out. The forest was wet and soon so were our shoes as we tramped along stream beds of runoff water. I found myself saying, "This is great!" which surprised me. Either I've turned the psychological corner or I had a good sleep.
Bonjour gave me a set of earplugs which are smaller than the ones I've been using. I took them reluctantly because of the bad luck I've been having with the two sets I've bought.
They did the trick. And combined with wearing my puffy jacket, I stayed warm enough to handle the 42 degree temperature. My little air mattress was the only problem in the shelter. As temperatures drop, the air contracts and I find myself lying on the floorboards. I tried blowing it back up at 3am and it helped marginally.
The mist and clouds stayed with us all morning and it rained off and on. On a downhill section I managed to slip on a rock and went down hard on my left knee. I bashed it up a bit but I can still hike on it. I'll try icing it at the motel this evening.
We came down from 5900 feet to 2500 feet and finally at about 3pm, after seven hours of hiking in the rain and fog, the sun came out. But the trail turned from rocky stream beds to a sodden mud slide. My shoes got soaked and are covered in mud. All you heard was squish, squish, squish. Aggravating.
But we called a shuttle to take us to Newport TN to resupply and because of the hour, we're holed up in a Motel 6. I just had a hot shower and there is steak house next door so life is good. It was a good hike today.