We arrived two nights ago, by circituitous means, in Hot Springs.
On November 6th and 7th, Jo's friends from her previous thru-hiking life, Anya and Josh, came for a weekend hike. We were at Uncle Johnny's (in Erwin), and we all slack-packed a section together — or rather, Jo and I slacked, and Josh and Anya packed out s'mores and wine, and brought us muffins and glow-in-the-dark paint.
Also, on the 6th, it snowed! So, we had fun hiking in the snow and then sitting around a fire; and then the next day it was still a little novel (though I was getting a cold), and then the next day Jo was cold and wet and miserable, and I undeniably had a cold, so we bailed out and came to Hot Springs.
Hot Springs is Damascus, plus enchanting friendliness. Elmer's, where we are staying, is in a big old house; it is deservedly called the Wood's Hole of the south. We had their home-made dinner yesterday (with Picker and Grinner, a couple we'd run into in Erwin), which was vegetarian, three-course, and altogether delicious; and in general the house has all the charm that age and loving decoration might lend it.
We zeroed yesterday and are going to zero again (good measure, for the cold); today's agenda includes doing some actual hot-spring soaking. Tomorrow, up into the mountains (and, shortly, the Smokies)!