11-10-09 day 161
start: Holiday Inn Express @ Hiawassee, GA
end: Tray Mountain Shelter, GA
daily mileage: 11.0
total mileage: 2121.8
This morning we got to experience the incredible Holiday Inn Express hot breakfast bar. This bar really sets “the bar” for continental breakfasts, hot eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, as well as the regular assortment of cereals, pastries, and juices. It was great. Back in the room we packed up the food from our last trail re-supply and loaded our packs. After check out, it was out into the deluge courtesy of Tropical Storm Ida, and over to the library for the last trail blog update session.
Our friend Fiddler also maintains a blog of his trail adventures on the Trail Journals website
(http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=9307). This is where most of the AT bloggers upload their stuff, actually. While at the library we met a gentleman who is a regular hiker with his wife as well as an avid reader of Trail Journals. Simply by coincidence he had been reading Fiddler’s journal, complete with pictures, and then happened into town and hour later, only to run into the real Fiddler! He was a great guy and waited around with Fiddler and Tin Man at the Dairy Queen for them to eat and us to finish blogging then come over and eat. After all that, he drove us all back out to the rainy wet trail head.
The rain wasn't too bad from the start of our 11 miles but as we went along it got worse and worse. By the time we hit the shelter we were all soaking wet and cold. The three walls and a roof were a welcome sight. Not only did we have shelter, but who was there waiting but our long lost friend LB! We lost him back in VA when he had to go back home to OH for a few days. After getting back on trail he evidently turned on the jets and caught up with us. We found out from LB that he was planning on finishing the same day as us, and not only that No Money was right behind us and planning on the 14th as well. It looks like Disney and I will have company from those two as well as Fiddler and Tin Man in the final day.