We’re back, a little early. Between the 8 feet that started the hike, we had 2 good ones when we got back to the car.
First day was fine, we hiked up the 500+ stairs at the falls, but got some great pictures. We also saw the path to the Hike Inn, another lodge accessible only by trail. We met a couple at the top of Springer Mountain and talked with them there, and then saw them again at the Springer shelter when we got water. They hiked back to their car at the USFS road and we went on to our shelter at Stover Creek. We stayed way too long at Stover Creek, sleeping in, eating… it’s down in a valley so it was 10 or so before the sun was high enough to bother us in the shelter. I had developed 2 blisters from the day before, on the side of my heel and on the bottom of my big toe, both on my left foot. Angus wasn’t doing so hot when we started, but he soon loosened up and was walking fine.
Around 3, I had to stop because my left foot was hurting so bad. The bandage on my toe had created a blister on the next toe, the nail of one cause a blister on the middle toe, and my little toe had a blister. I tried treating these and we kept walking. It hurt. So much. Right before Horse Gap, we saw that couple again, resting. They were doing day hikes in the area. We managed our way down to the gap, my feet on fire, and when TCB showed me that we *only* had 5 miles to go before we got to the shelter, I cried. My blisters had all grown, my little toe had another blister under the first one, the one on my middle toe had ruptured, and I didn’t want to put my foot back into the boot, because of the pain. My right foot was developing some blisters, too. About then the couple made their way down the hill, and we rested together. I loaned them my pocket knife so that he could open some gatorade mix. They offered us a ride to the next road so that I could rest some before we hiked again tomorrow, but the shelters aren’t near the roads, and we (TCB) still thought we could make it, so we (TCB) declined. They set off over Sassafras Mt. first, and when we got up to go, Angus could hardly walk. It was so sad. We caught up to the couple about 2/10 mile in, and when we found out that they were staying at Amicolola Lodge, TCB asked if they had room for 4 and a dog in their car, we had a car parked at the falls. So we got a ride back, around 19 miles into the planned 40-mile hike. I had 8 blisters and a bruised ankle, and Angus had torn pads on 3 paws (one really bad) and one paw with hot pads. TCB’s feet? Fine. He did carry Angus’s pack and my sleeping bag the last 1.5 miles, to lighten the load on our feet, and, once we were home and having pizza and beer, said was going to call someone to get us the next day. I took a picture of our saviors and will send it to them. We also got some cheese to sprinkle on Angus’s food, so he will eat and as a treat. TCB is feeling appropriately guilty for breaking his dog and his girlfriend, though he seemed more concerned about the dog than the girl.
I asked Mom for her blister remedy, and she said to keep them clean and dry, maybe some Neosporin, and keep them elevated with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other.