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View Full Version : An experience with Uncle Johnny's hostel this past weekend



10-K
08-10-2009, 10:37
This weekend, my wife and I drove up to Erwin to hike from Devil's Fork Gap back to Nolichucky River. I arranged the shuttle to Devil's Fork Gap with Uncle Johnny's for 7:00 AM Friday morning.

Friday morning, on the way to Uncle Johnny's, I hit a rock in the road and blew out the side of my tire. Long story short, I put on the temporary spare and we drove in to Uncle Johnny's about 20 minutes late for our shuttle.

The shuttle driver, and another family who had also had a 7:00 AM shuttle were still there, waiting for us. I explained our situation and basically said we were going to have to delay our hike until I could get a new tire because we were over 400 miles from home and if we started our hike as scheduled we wouldn't finish until Sunday and there's no place to get a tire on Sunday .... I didn't want to risk driving 400 miles on a temporary spare. We couldn't extend our trip an extra day because our youngest son was staying with a friend and we needed to get home on Sunday...

The shuttle driver told me I could leave my truck key with him and that he would get me a tire and have it put on before we finished our hike so that we could go ahead and start our hike on time. I agreed, left him my keys and off we went.

We finished a day early, and when we came out of the woods Saturday evening there was my truck, with a brand new tire ready to go. They gave me the receipt from the tire place and charged me a $5 fee for handling it.

I've used Uncle Johnny's for shuttles at least a half dozen times and have never had a bad experience but the way they handled my tire and basically saved our hike, was really stellar service in my opinion. 2 thumbs up for UJ's!

footnote: after we had left on our shuttle, my wife remembered that she left her engagement ring (a rather large diamond) and gold necklace in the console and her purse behind the passenger seat. Everything was still there when we got back.... :)

sheepdog
08-10-2009, 11:02
Good report. Uncle Johnny took good care of me last year also.

Blue Jay
08-10-2009, 11:21
I've stayed there 4 times over the years. Always had a great time.

Rain Man
08-10-2009, 11:38
Thanks for sharing such a positive report.

Rain:sunMan

.

Marta
08-10-2009, 11:52
Thanks for sharing that.

Blissful
08-10-2009, 11:58
They were very accommodating for our shuttle in '07.

Nice to hear.

Big Dawg
08-10-2009, 14:01
Not surprised. I've always had great service when dealing w/ Unky J's hostel.

wrongway_08
08-10-2009, 14:58
Great crew there!

Doctari
08-10-2009, 20:24
This story does not surprise me at all.

I stayed there a total of 3 nights (1 at each end of a zero & 1 after the end ofmy hike) a few years ago, was treated GREAT the entire time.

just dad
03-05-2010, 22:11
This weekend, my wife and I drove up to Erwin to hike from Devil's Fork Gap back to Nolichucky River. I arranged the shuttle to Devil's Fork Gap with Uncle Johnny's for 7:00 AM Friday morning.

Friday morning, on the way to Uncle Johnny's, I hit a rock in the road and blew out the side of my tire. Long story short, I put on the temporary spare and we drove in to Uncle Johnny's about 20 minutes late for our shuttle.

The shuttle driver, and another family who had also had a 7:00 AM shuttle were still there, waiting for us. I explained our situation and basically said we were going to have to delay our hike until I could get a new tire because we were over 400 miles from home and if we started our hike as scheduled we wouldn't finish until Sunday and there's no place to get a tire on Sunday .... I didn't want to risk driving 400 miles on a temporary spare. We couldn't extend our trip an extra day because our youngest son was staying with a friend and we needed to get home on Sunday...

The shuttle driver told me I could leave my truck key with him and that he would get me a tire and have it put on before we finished our hike so that we could go ahead and start our hike on time. I agreed, left him my keys and off we went.

We finished a day early, and when we came out of the woods Saturday evening there was my truck, with a brand new tire ready to go. They gave me the receipt from the tire place and charged me a $5 fee for handling it.

I've used Uncle Johnny's for shuttles at least a half dozen times and have never had a bad experience but the way they handled my tire and basically saved our hike, was really stellar service in my opinion. 2 thumbs up for UJ's!

footnote: after we had left on our shuttle, my wife remembered that she left her engagement ring (a rather large diamond) and gold necklace in the console and her purse behind the passenger seat. Everything was still there when we got back.... :)

My kids and I are the referenced "family." Our experience with Uncle Johnny's was equally great. My daughter caught a cold when were were two days out of Uncle Johnny's. We called for ride from the trail and they quickly picked us up. We then took a zero at Uncle Johnny's. Uncle Johnny himself was on vacation, but Loadbearing, Firefox and the rest of the crew running the place were wonderful. Truly a great group of people.

sasquatch2014
03-06-2010, 17:01
Great crew there!

Yeah weren't they wondering if you were going to make it your permeant address when you came through? How many days was it? Every 100th customer gets a free puppy.

WILLIAM HAYES
03-06-2010, 17:43
John is a good guy I have stayed there many times . Several years ago on a section hike I had a early morning shuttle John showed up on time although one of his favorite dogs had just been killed by a hit and run driver -John had his little buddy wrapped in a blanket in the back of the van John and I both shed a few tears that morning on the way to the trailhead-we both said a prayer for his buddy

Hillbilly

SGT Rock
03-11-2010, 15:02
I had a great time with the folks there in '08 despite being sick.

Crazy Larry #1
03-11-2010, 15:09
good report......

10-K
03-11-2010, 16:26
My kids and I are the referenced "family." Our experience with Uncle Johnny's was equally great. My daughter caught a cold when were were two days out of Uncle Johnny's. We called for ride from the trail and they quickly picked us up. We then took a zero at Uncle Johnny's. Uncle Johnny himself was on vacation, but Loadbearing, Firefox and the rest of the crew running the place were wonderful. Truly a great group of people.

Dang small world.. I remember you too. :)

Tabasco
03-22-2015, 16:56
Got a shuttle from UJ this past Friday. Could not have been happier. Courteous and on time, fairly priced. Third time they have shuttled me and strongly recommend them.

tiptoe
03-22-2015, 17:00
Glad it worked out well, 10-K. You may remember me as well; we met at the Doyle one July 4 several years ago. I'm planning to a long southbound section starting in Damascus this spring, and Uncle Johnny's is now on my A-list for places to stop.

doug105
03-22-2015, 17:08
the original poster said they provided "stellar service" in having his tire fixed...I'd have to disagree...that is way beyond
"service" of any sort. That was a favor or kindness! It seems that the trail can bring out the best in people, so as hiker's
we should be mindful and thankful for this!

DougN

Walkintom
03-22-2015, 17:21
We stayed there in 13 and were treated well. Good folks.

map man
03-22-2015, 17:57
I guess what goes around comes around.

Tom, you may recall two years ago that I was twenty minutes late, myself, when you were shuttling me from Hot Springs to Damascus (I messed up trying to negotiate a detour between Newport TN and Hot Springs). You were very understanding about it and I really enjoyed the drive to Damascus with you. Luckily my Subaru didn't have any tire troubles:).

And by the way, I stayed at Uncle Johnny's during that section hike and had a good experience.

Edit: I wonder if this experience back in 2010 influenced your decision to move to Erwin and shuttle hikers yourself!

wornoutboots
03-22-2015, 18:23
40 cent Snickers ;)

Old Hiker
03-22-2015, 20:01
40 cent Snickers ;)

2012 - $15 thermal top the day I left and the day BEFORE it dropped into the 20's at night.

Ron Haven
12-20-2016, 23:46
I love hearing good reports like this..

Dogwood
12-21-2016, 00:02
I love hearing good reports like this..


Isn't that the truth. Fixation on being offended and negativity becomes a swirling vortex that if not careful will suck ya into it.

DavidNH
12-21-2016, 00:04
Uncle Johnneys is a great and inexpensive hostel. furthermore.. They run 3 shuttles a day (at least they did when I thru hiked in 2006) so you can always get to the restaurants and buffets!

MuddyWaters
12-21-2016, 06:33
Its a good place.

But to be real...its somewhat a dump. Reminiscent of a Fish camp.
No way wife would stay there.

Thats Ok. Not pretending to be more.

Location, Location, Location.

Private rooms way overpriced for what they are. Just go to hotel in town if thats what want.

Teacher & Snacktime
12-21-2016, 10:18
Snacktime and I stopped in on our Spring 2014 hike, and Johnny himself took time to regale us with local tales and his personal history with the trail and hikers. It is clear he is a caring, genuinely nice guy dedicated to role as provider and friend. I'm hoping to get there myself....as a hiker....someday and see him again.

jimmyjam
12-21-2016, 11:44
I stayed there this past October. We pulled in late afternoon after a 20 mile day in sideways rain. Uncle Johnny got us checked in quick. Got pizzas and beer ordered for us which was waiting for us when we got out of the welcomed hot showers. He also took us to town for resupply, breakfAst the next day, repaired a hiking pole and gave excellent advice for a stealth camping spot for the next night. Two thumbs up.

Storm
12-21-2016, 20:14
I spent a total of six days there in 2014. Had some bad ice and snow. A hiker from Germany came in and had lost his coat somewhere on the trail. Sarge was there at the time and gave him a coat. It was not a new coat or anything but I thought it was a very nice gesture.

Paramedork
12-23-2016, 13:47
MERICA!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

Spoppy
12-23-2016, 21:21
My son and I stayed there for several days after a big snow storm forced us off the trail in 99. Thanks to Johnny and Bob Peoples we were able to make the most of a sucky two weeks.

SawnieRobertson
12-24-2016, 00:14
He was very nice to me when I only picked up mail drops sent to his place but then went to the Holiday Inn. I wanted to pay, but he would not accept it. Atmosphere was good.Oh, and then (1999) Ms Janet provided shuttles thereabouts, including helping coordinate a small memorial for a fellow hiker, Green Mountain Man, who had died just short of Uncle Johnny's.

earlyriser26
12-24-2016, 00:41
Glad to see this. I have used them for shuttles 3 times and they have always been good. I have never stayed there because the holiday inn express is so near.

Slow Trek
12-25-2016, 22:04
They are good people,and good people tend to do good deeds. We only stopped in to replace a tent,but they were very helpful,and even mailed our damaged one home.