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We are now in Erwin, TN, somewhere around 350 miles into our hike. April 10th was our one-month anniversary and yesterday was Lightning’s birthday, so we splurged on a Holiday Inn Express reservation in town. It is now 8:30 am the next morning, and I just finished round one of the glorious continental breakfast including bacon and orange juice. Yum!
Five of us shared the room last night: the three of us, Yianni, and Prophet. Our smell is pretty unbelievable. When you open the door, a thick wall of must, sweat, and dirt hits you in the face. We know we smell and we try to stay clean. Honestly, though, perpetual stink is a thru-hiker fact. After my 20 minute scrubbing in the shower, I still smelled. I do not know where it was coming from but it was there! I carried a stick of deodorent the first week, but dropped it as soon as I could. There is nothing strong enough to prevent what we deal with.
Laundry is always fun. I have one set of hiking clothes, one set of sleeping clothes, an extra pair of socks, a down jacket, and my rain pants and jacket. When it’s laundry time, that means it’s rain clothing time – no matter the heat or need to walk through town. At first, I did not mind. However, after one month of continual wear with little washing, even my plastic-y rain jacket is taking on an unpleasant funk. There is no escaping it.
Brandon “Monkey” Imp is now off the trail (and probably much less stankier) following a successful 2010 thru-hike with his sister Kate “Ringleader” Imp and good buddy Emily “Lightning” Ginger. Together the members of the “Traveling Circus” captured the peaks and valleys of trail life in a documentary called Beauty Beneath the Dirt. You can check out the film ( as well as their awesome blog) at www.beautybeneaththedirt.com/ .
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