We awoke to a great day. The weather was perfect for hiking, overcast and cool. We decided that we were going to hike into a town about a mile on a side trail called Hampton (TN) to get an extra days worth of food.
After getting to downtown, we realized that the main street of Hampton was made up of mostly closed down or abandoned buildings. Up the hill from town were many nice houses. We walked down the main road for about a mile, until we finally found open restaurant. The Laurel Fork Diner was a small restaurant in the remains of a old gas station. Since we were both hungry, we made the decision to eat first, shop second. I ordered the Big Country Plate (two eggs, biscuits and gravy) and a egg and bacon sandwich. David enjoyed pancakes and hash browns.
After I had finished eating, I left David with money to pay for the food. I walked over the the Dollar General to purchase groceries. On my way over to the store, I ran into Mark, who had tented by the same shelter that we did. He remarked about how the town looked abandoned, even though there a bunch of cars on the road.
We hiked the same way we did the previous two days, at 2 miles a hour.
When we got to the shelter, we found two guys sleeping in at 4:30 in the afternoon. As we set up and got comfortable, they woke up and introduced themselves; Digery Dan, and Nomad. They were going to night hike into Damascus VA, which is about 25 miles away. They got ready and while we ate our dinner, they were eating their breakfast. Digery Dan and Nomad left around 7 pm.
We decided that it was cold and our sleeping bags were warm. So we tied up our bear bags and got into our sleeping bags around 7:30pm. Later this evening, Mark showed up and pitched his tent.
Tomorrow we are going to try to hike into Damascus, and stay the night in a hostel.
I want to thank everyone for your help in supporting my goals to raise awareness for the Mtinko Well and for your assistance in helping me Make it to Maine!
Loral Fork Shelter to Iron Mountain Shelter
Location: Latitude: 36.43535, Longitude: -81.99100