4/27 Newfound Gap (4.5)

April 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm

We woke up to ominous skies and hiked quickly out of the woods today.  The weather showed a huge storm front moving in and we were eager to near-o into Gatlinburg for shelter.  Our experience thus far with Southern thunderstorms has been wet boots and blowdowns so we lacked the sufficient courage to tempt fate.  Only minutes from Newfound Gap, the grey clouds opened up and began to spray us with the early signs of the storm.  We ran into the gap amidst the drizzle and found ourselves greeted promptly by trail magic!  Godspeed, who thru hiked with his son in 2003, and his wife Mountain Mama were supplying all the hikers with lunch, slapping together some good sandwiches and offering brownies and soda out of the back of their car.  We ate our soggy lunch eagerly and then noticed another car flagging us down from the side of the road.  Gram Cracker, AT thru hiker in 2011, asked us if we wanted a ride into Gatlinburg and we jumped into her car enthusiastically.  On the way to the town, she offered us a much better deal than the Grand Prix Hotel and we soon found ourselves at her ‘cabin’, which was essentially a three story mansion with the best view of the Smokies in the whole area.  The five of us – Chief, Genie, DocSpice, Mark, and I – had won the hiker lottery and been taken in by the ultimate trail angel.
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This guy made us sandwiches!
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Made it! In the rain!
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Gram Cracker!