May 11 - Arrived in Hot Springs.
Woke up feeling beat up. Big toes were numb and I laid in the hammock rubbing them to no avail. My hands felt stiff, too, like I'm getting arthritis or something. We were between shelters and we packed up and wondered why it felt so damp during the night yet everything was bone dry. I wrapped up my tarp guy lines and realized it was the first time during this trip that they weren't wet! Then it began to sprinkle.
It was a relatively easy 8 miles in light rain to Hot Springs and we got here by 11 a.m. The trail goes right through the town along its Main Street and the sidewalk has the A.T. logo stamped into it at regular intervals. Nice touch.
We did a recon of Bluff Mountain Outfitters and waited for the restaurants to open for lunch, sitting on the bench outside BMO, who let us keep our packs inside.
We found a place to stay that's brand new and part of a new restaurant BBQ place, Still Mountain Restaurant, called Creekside. We paid cash and wangled a deal for two nights. It's right along the river and Bonjour and I each have our own bedroom with double bed.
There's a patio outside with a fire pit and cords and cords of wood, so in the evening we had a fire and invited MacGyver over and we sat around in the dark and sometimes drizzling rain and watched the coals glowing. A good day overall. Hot Springs may be a hard place to leave.
Here is the Creekside patio:
The Hot Springs Shop:
At least it's organic!