Friday, April 20, 2012

We meet Eats a Lot (EMT)

We looked at the elevation profile for today and saw there was a lot of downhill after the first two preliminary humps we had to climb over.  Yes, they are called humps.  Somehow, the humps are always larger in life than in the elevation profile.  After that, it was all downhill into the small town of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, which also had a BBQ place!  Motivation to hike faster!
The hump climbs were really challenging, but provided views that were well worth the climb.  Just beautiful in all directions!  When we reached the highway to Roan, we tried our hand at hitchiking, and within 5 minutes, were picked up by a man who looked just like the Grandpa from the Dukes of Hazards, complete with overalls and a longneck sitting in his lap.  As we threw our packs into the bed of the truck and hopped in, Swamprat, the retired State Police Officer, voice his concern to us that he hoped that that was his first beer of the day.  A few minutes later, we were delivered to the Highlanders BBQ place in Roan Mountain, and stuffed ourselves with BBQ and ice cream.  We also met a 19 year old thru-hiker named EMT (he has an EMT license), from Omaha, who was so likeable, we bought him dessert, and asked him to join us.  The owner of the restaurant was nice enough to drive us all back to the trail later.  Pretty much, if you have a pickup, truck, you are the perfect transportation for a group of hikers.
We ended up hiking to the Elk River to camp for the night, but along the way, took a side trail to the Jones Falls.  We weren't excited about taking a side trail to see much at that time, but once we saw the falls, we were glad we did.  They fell all the way from the very top of the mountain, down a sheer rock wall.  Just stunning!
Later on, after we had pitched camp and started a fire, EMT hiked into camp.  He had stayed behind in Roan to grocery shop.  We later learned that he eats A LOT, and carries about 4 pounds of food a day to eat.  To compare, we average carrying about 1.25 pounds per day.  I mean, this kid eats A LOT!  He was proud of it too, and we enjoyed hearing him talk about how much he eats per day.  We later decided, that we had good reason to change his trail name to Eats a Lot.

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