Last night we did get to go have some Mellow Mushroom pizza (they have gluten-free) with Swamprat, and we met his hiking buddy, Mouse (real name, Micky). We had a really nice time with them.
We also walked up and down the main street and window shopped. I really needed some new Crocs and so we found a shop and made a plan to return the next day.
We ended up at a really nice hotel called the Bearskin Lodge, with gas fireplaces and huge whirlpool tubs - very much appreciated! We met Swamprat, Mouse, and her hiking buddy, Plus Two for an all you can eat breakfast that we had heard about from the last Ridgerunner. It lived up to its name. Wonderful food! We lazed around for an hour or so just relaxing and visiting. Everyone in the group is about the same age with kids about the same age also. Sadly, Swamprat has to go home for a week because his son is having a surgery. He plans to find us on the trail when he returns so we can hike together. He's from Louisiana, and apparently makes a mean pot of jambalaya - maybe we can persuade him to provide some future trail magic!
The rest of the day we bought my Crocs, did laundry (where Bill and his son Taylor walked in), and then ate a yummy lunch at Bubba Gump's. We also picked up our resupply box and repacked our backpacks for the week. Later on, we went to a local steakhouse and celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We ended the evening by skyping with Elise and Daniel for a while. It's so funny skyping with an iPhone because our picture is about the size of a postage stamp. (I didn't take many pics in Gatlinburg, but the street was always busy with tourists).
- Steady and F100