Made it out of the smokies today. I was flying. barely stopped for breaks at all between 10am and 2pm. I sat at a road crossing with the triplets for a while and called home. The last few days worth of trail in the smokies was really nice. Today was no exception. A few good views but many had trees in the way.
A vegetation gound cover is new as it has mostly been dead leaves but now patches of green forest (?) are popping up.
Made it to Standing Bear hostel and ate lunch while waiting for Achillies and Far East Coast to show up. They made it eventually, but had difficulty navigating the I-40 underpass. A very cool little piece of a(?) could following blazes on guardrails and steel signs made getting back to the trail interesting.
Currently tarping out at Painters Branch campsite with a river on either side of this area. Bigger group here for a campsite, the triplets are here as well as F.F.C.. It was nice having some time with them, they are firmly starting to talk more, kind of. I found out for sure they are not mormons, very quiet still, but they'll come around.
Saw 3 snakes today, one near the base of a tree, one a few feet off the traile and a third directly across from the second. The second one was injured and angry. It had bite marks on it and was rattling its tail even thou it wasn't a rattle snake. Mimicking one does scare off some predetors though. First "real" wildlife of the trip. Had some more owls earlier.
One mousetrap worked last night. I didn't realize it went off, fell off the rafter and landed right next to my sleeping bag in my sleep.
Should be in Hot Springs on Sunday. Looking forward to the jacuzzi.