April 12, 1998

4/12/98 Kicorra Hiker's Hostel

19.8 miles (401.9 total)

The plan for Easter Sunday was to do a 20-miler and get to the Kincora Hostel. Even though it was still cold, I stripped layers after 20-minutes. The first few miles were through some of the most beautiful hollows I’d ever seen. If this was land taken by the Forest Service, I can understand the animosity by the locals. "Fair market value" couldn’t come close to this beauty. Soon after, we came to some of the worst trail I’ve been on, almost swamp land. Then, even though the guidebooks say to avoid the locals and go through quickly, we had about 2-mile road walk by all their homes. Luckily, the much talked about Rottweiller was not too aggressive but he did come out onto the road and watched our backs.

One of the most beautiful spots on the trail
but also one of the most troubled

The trail seemed to be a roller coaster all afternoon, crossing dozens of streams and creeks. It must have really slowed our pace down because we arrived at Moreland Gap shelter an hour later than expected. We met Commando again. Seems he’s skipping huge sections just to keep up with his MRE’s (military "Meals, Ready to Eat"). While Lynx and Commando set up camp, Smiley, EWOS and I headed for Dennis Cove Road 6-miles away. We made excellent time, almost making it in 2-hours. EWOS and I didn’t really know what to expect from a hostel that’s only $4 but we were pleasantly surprised.

EWOS leads the way

Bob is retired and he and his wife, Pat, bought this property specifically to set up a hostel "as a hobby." They are from Vermont but looked from North Carolina to Pennsylvania for a spot close to the trail. The Kincora Hostel has a kitchen, living-room with wood burning fireplace, an upstairs bunkroom, a phone, free laundry and showers, free shuttles into town, etc. All Bob asks is a donation to keep it running (to pay for supplies and electricity). Bob is a talker, plus he’s hard of hearing. What a great combination!

Met alot of new thruhikers like Moonpie (later to be renamed Moondaddie). Most of them slackpacked today (with Bob’s free shuttles) and will head out tomorrow. Kind of went wild at the store, buying fixings for tacos and buying a pizza. Ate it all but I did feel a little (or maybe a lot) bloated. We were up late talking in the common room.