We acquired the lovely miss peach (a.k.a. Tuck) about halfway through the Smokies and now we have exited those hills and will travel along the TN-NC border for a few hundred miles. We arrived in Hot Springs and are staying at this ridiculously awesome place - an old Victorian house that you wish you lived in - antiques, tons of books, music room, etc. but its main clientele this time of year appears to be hikers, so you don't feel bad about being quite so vagrant-ey (yes that's totally a word). The last couple of days have been really amazing. We ran into a group of trail angels that goes to this particular gap in the middle of _nowhere_ annually and then proceeds to ply all hikers passing thru with fabulous food and great company. We got there around lunchtime and ended up hanging for dinner as well - steaks, etc. And fruit. And Girl Scout cookies, of all things. And some great live music too. We still wanted to make it to the top of Max Patch (a 'bald' - 360 deg view on top) to see the sky, it was a clear night after all, so we night hiked up to the top (only about an hour and a half for those last 4 miles) and got a great starry sky with very little light pollution. And, even better, Tuck managed to wake up spontaneously before the sunrise and got us up to see as well. Thus we enjoyed one of the most amazing sunrises I've ever seen. I'll post a pic of that soon.