4/4 Day 18

We hiked 16.5 miles to Roaring Fork Shelter. After breaking down our wet tent, the trail took us past a huge waterfall, the Pigeon River and onto a ramp for I-40. We hiked past Standing Bear Hostel, a hostel that caters to hikers. They had a bunk house, camping area and cabins as well as computer, community kitchen and small store. The store was open 24 hours and ran on the honor system. All they required was for you to write your trail name, what you were buying and the total on an envelope and drop your money in a slot. After buying a few items and sharing in Easter treats other hikers had received in mail drops, we headed out. We would pay for all the downhill we had the day before with a day full of uphill climbs. Our favorite climb of the day was up to Max Patch summit. Max Patch was a 392 acre grassy top mountain that offered panoramic views of the smokies and Mt. Mitchell (tallest peak east of the Mississippi).

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