Location: Jerry Cabin Shelter (300.1 miles)

I didn't sleep particularly well last night, and woke up rather stiff and with a scratchy throat (which started yesterday) and eyes that felt like they were bulging out of my head.

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View of Hot Springs
Location: Allen Gap (288.5 miles)

Off to an early start this morning, Beast and I left the Laughing Heart hostel around 6:45, loaded up on breakfast at a diner in town, and headed off on our five day hike to Erwin, TN.

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Monday, April 18, 2016 6:36 am

Matt asked, in response to my complaint that the shelters were "always" uphill:

"Wouldn't all (well-designed) shelters be uphill? I think being in a valley or downhill slope would make drainage a problem, or consideration in the construction."

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Hot Springs AT Sidewalk Emblem
Location: Hot Springs, NC / Laughing Heart Hostel (273.7 miles)

Low-key day today. For a number of reasons, Beast and I zeroed in Hot Springs. We got a really late start to the day (on account of breakfast with Beast's parents); Beast and I wanted to get the outfitter to look at our packs and advise what we might adjust to reduce the strain on our shoulders (moving the sternum straps on both our packs appear to help; the real test of that will be when we actually hike tomorrow); and my ankle, which while better and could probably have made the hike, was still sore and in need of more rest.

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Sign at Garenflo Gap
Location: Hot Springs, NC / Laughing Heart Hostel (273.7 miles)

This one's going to be short.

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