We are wrapping up our first official zero day here in Franklin, NC. We had such a great (and surprisingly busy) time here! We stayed at a motel with all our new trail pals, and the first day just vegged out! Friday evening we all walked to a local sports bar, Mulligans, and ate a ton of unhealthy food and had some drinks. It was about 12-15 of us over the course of the night and it was so fantastic laughing with all those amazing people and sharing stories of our journey. We can’t express enough how incredible the trail community is. Here is a picture of us with our original crew of trail companions from the first week:
After a fun evening all of us headed home for sleep. We are used to sleeping by like.. 8:00 so being out until nearly 10:30 was just crazy!
This morning (Saturday) we woke up at 6:30 to get free bus to a local church that does ALL YOU CAN EAT, FREE pancakes and bacon for the first month or so that people usually start the trail (so mid March to mid April). It was such incredible hospitality, and the pancakes were fluffy and perfect.
The rest of the day was errands, errands, errands (and some fun). We ran into pals all over town, and enjoyed comparing notes on busy “rest” day plans. We reapplied some snacks, spent time at gear shop getting some new things we need and learning from hiking veterans / locals. The store, Outdoor 76 hosted a free hiker LUNCH of hotdogs And we enjoyed so much food there, too!! We also got to hang out with one of our favorite new trail friends, Luna the dog:
After many errands and prepping our next week or so of travels we are back to relaxing, finally. We just put away a huge pizza by ourselves, and have no regrets, and we will say goodbye to all those calories tomorrow:
Now it’s Time for some FaceTime dates with some pals, and then packing up our bags to head out first thing tomorrow (after we hit up the free breakfast again, of course)
Our next weeks will take us through more of beautiful North Carolina and Tenessee, including Great Smokey Mountain National Park, which we are stoked for.
Thanks for reading about our journey, and look for another post in about a week or so, when we are in GATLINBURG (oh boy)
–Moonbow and Lightning Bug