Our adventure so far has been amazing and beautiful and surprising! We started slow, Steve's heart and mind were on the trail, but his body was not cooperating. We tried to take it easy, we took some time off the trail; in town he'd feel better, and then we'd get back to hiking and he would slowly deteriorate.
In Hiawassee we decided to give him a break, he took a shuttle to Franklin while I hiked that section alone. From there he got back on the trail and was met with the same problems.
Steve decided that he was not going to be a thru-hiker. This part of his adventure had ended. I would continue on without my hiker buddy. BUT Steve's adventure has shifted. He went home to load up the car and become a permenant trail angel for the rest of the hike!
From Bryson City I hiked on while he went home and packed up. From the NOC to Fontana Dam I was met with the coldest, wettest, and grossest days of hiking yet.
Today I am unexpectedly settled in at Fontana Lodge awaiting the arrival of a new trail buddy to attack the Great Smoky Mountains with tomorrow!