Tuesday, April 26, 2016 9:56 pm
Location: US 19E / Mountain Harbour Hostel (393.1 miles)

Our day started off with the climb up Hump Mountain and its several false summits. Being bald, and the high point in the area, it was also very windy, and the climb up the mountain was greatly slowed by having to brace from falling over from the wind. (We were practically leaning over to the side into the wind just to keep balance.

Hump Mountain
Hump Mountain

The reward, though, was a great 360-degree panorama of the surrounding landscape.

View from Hump Mountain
View from Hump Mountain

At the summit, the trail doglegged out along the ridge, before re-entering the forest about halfway down. The latter part of the descent was a rocky and rooty mess, and slow going, but at least it was interesting (unlike yesterday's descent down Roan Mountain).

The last couple of weeks, we had been roughly following the NC/TN border. About three miles into the day, we left North Carolina for the last time, and now, we'll be in Tennessee until we reach Virginia.

Leaving North Carolina
Leaving North Carolina
Flowers
Flowers

We arrived at our destination, Mountain Harbour Hostel and Bed & Breakfast, shortly off the trail at US 19E. The hostel portion of the B&B is located in the top half of a converted barn, and is really rather nice. It has a common area with tv and kitchen appliances, and three separate sleeping areas.

Sassy hung out with us at the hostel for several hours before moving on, and participated in our planning for our hostel/slackpacking plans later in the week.

We've mostly spent the rest of the day lounging around watching old movies. We started with The Thing (which Beast wanted to watch, and turned off after it was clear no one was watching). Then, I put in Back to the Future, followed by Back to the Future Part II. Beast put The Thing in again, and this time people watched it. Afterwards, 48 Hours Later was put on (and quickly replaced with Beverly Hills Cop when it became clear the former was not a comedy).

One of the issues on the trail is weight loss (for men; apparently, women tend to gain weight on the trail). While there have been scales in various places, It's been somewhat difficult to gauge their reliability. Fortunately, we had someone at the hostel today who was able to confirm that the scale matches up with another scale he used earlier in the day. Knowing the scale was good, that provided confirmation to what we've suspected for the last couple of weeks: I've actually managed to gain weight (about a pound or two, which, honestly, is really rather surprising); Beast has lost 35 pounds (which at the weight of a pound a day, is both unsustainable and worrisome).

I'm assuming my typical two-course dinner of a box of Mac & Cheese (900+ calories) and Ramen (another 250+, I think), plus occasionally a dessert (or appetizer) of a Snickers bar (250 calories) probably has something to do with my apparent weight neutrality. That, and gorging as much as possible when in town. It'll be interesting to see if this continues to hold as we get further north and the trail towns get further apart.

Tomorrow: what's supposed to be an amazing all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast at the B&B, followed by a long day.