We register in the lodge in the usual manner, totally confused and sounding like we just feel off the turnip truck. The desk clerk is not the friendliest and is not in a humorous mood as we are (the accident still in our minds, but fading). In spite of the desk clerk’s frown we are able to check in and divide the room cost 3 ways as we wish!Our first order of business after checking out the room is to eat dinner and find a laundry
where we can wash Marsha’s soiled belongings. The room is very nice and we are pleased with
the view. We have been told by the frowning clerk that the only laundry rights we have are
at the campground laundry, which is down the HILL.Oh God, a hill already!! And a hill it was, straight down. This is O.K., but if you think of a mountain as two sided (which they are) you will realize that straight down going means straight up coming. I almost refuse to go to the laundry, but I decideto tag along in case the Sisters need my expertisein laundry. It’s a good thing I came too!!

At the laundry there was a big pic-nic table which we sprawled on and talked about the past. We remembered things we thought we had forgotten. Emma recited her version of The Night Before Christmas, which had very big gaps that none of us seemed to be able to fill!

We reminisced about when we were children living in Tennessee. We remembered dogs, and rabbits from the past. We remembered lots of things that I can’t remember at this moment. Maybe sometime in the future it will come to me, sometime when I’m again with the Sisters.

The laundry is finally ready and we decide to go back to the lodge by way of the FALLS. The falls is very pretty with water bubbling down and we stand as if in a trance as we watch and listen.

Back at the room we make our last minute preparations, Marsha talks on the phone and Emma and I enjoy the patio. We meet some bird watchers from Birmingham, AL. They seem like a fun group and they tell us about nesting Blackburnian Warblers at Neels Gap.

We make a call to the hospital to inquire about Mandy. We are told that she is in ICU and her family is with her.

We have some argument about the airconditioner and Emma wins. Marsha and I roast, but are eventually able to sleep. We take the bed right next to the AC unit and get the benefit of the blower. We sleep.  Tomororw we start our hike, we all have doubts, fears, and are so excited we can hardly stand it!
In the morning we would head for the approach trail up Springer Mountain and the Beginning of the