After leaving Mammoth Cave on Sunday, The Bearded Man made the 4 hour drive SE to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. On his way down he stopped in the town of Eighty Eight, Kentucky. Famous for one day each 100 years (8.8.88), the town's entire population of 87 turned out to greet The Bearded Man. He was presented with a key to the city, several 8-track tapes and a case of Ale 8.
The Bearded Man will be staying at the LeConte Lodge, which sits atop Mt. LeConte, the park's third highest peak, at an elevation of 6,593 feet. The lodge is only accessible by foot, requiring a 5 to 8 mile hike, depending on the route. The Bearded Man has hired two displaced Sherpas to assist him in bringing his gear from the VW bus to the lodge.
During The Bearded Man's two day visit, his planned activities include trout fishing a portion of the 2,900 miles of streams that protect one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. He has also been asked to host the Tuesday night hayride through Cades Cove, an honor previously only given to park alumni Smokey and Yogi Bear.