Amicalola Falls to Neels Gap
Day one has been quite the adventure. My day started at REI where I had to buy some gas. Then I took a surprisingly cheap Uber from Brookhaven to Amicalola falls.
The approach trail was beautiful, if you’re thinking about skipping it; don’t. It was definitely one of the best waterfalls I’ve seen my whole life. Granted, the steps were miserable, but what better way to gear up for what’s to come, right?
A little later, I ran into Jessi who informed me that there was a 10% percent chance of rains. Of course, not longer than an hour later it started down pouring. Luckily, I was able only a couple hundred feet from the Black Gap shelter. I met Dash, Turtle (who is ironically one of the fastest people out here), Andrew (later named KitKat), and Jessi again. All in lol, it was a great day, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for me.
So someone left a bunch of gear in the shelter which luckily the rats decided to climb around on/in rather than on me. ? Hung out with Turtle who suggested seeing the long creek falls. Anyways, I headed out and met some great people along the way. Of course when I was just minutes away from the falls when it started raining, so unfortunately, I skipped it.
I hiked on for a while and took short refuge from the storm at a cemetery near the trail. Finally I hit hawk mountain shelter just in time for the next round of rain. Hawk mountain shelter got pretty full that night. Our trail family started forming that night. We had Mark playing the uke, Great Lakes who accidentally put her tent in a spot that turned into a lake, Hannah from ASU, Songbird who sings ALL the time, Stunts who likes to stumble and trip, Collin, Elise the YouTuber, Addison, And Joplin. We all hung out all night and sang songs and shared stories.
We all had decided to push the miles today and aimed for Woody Gap. The pain of Sassafras was talked up the whole night. We summited it no problem and then hopped over Justice Mountain. We reached Gooch shelter early enough and pushed on. Finally, we stumbled out of the woods into Woody Gap.
As Stunts and I asked a group of day hikers where to find the water source, we got some great trail magic. This lovely couple gave us some marshmallows, Gatorade, and bottled waters. We enjoyed our treats and made a fire. Then the second round of trail magic came our way when some college students rode some of us into town to get beer and cigarettes. We stayed up for a while drinking and singing around the fire. Meanwhile we were all talking about how terrible blood mountain was going to be the next morning.
We headed out pretty early in order to get to Neels Gap in time for pizza and a hostel stay. We were flying through the trail until Jarrard Gap where we talked to RidgeRunner Rachael. Then we slowed a little but made it to the bottom of blood mountain in no time. The ascent of the mountain was really not as terrible as everyone was saying.
We celebrated atop Blood Mountain, enjoyed the view, and headed back down. We ran down the 2 miles of mountain in less than 30 minutes with pizza on our mind the whole way down. Neels Gap was such a great sight! We scarfed down some pizza and grabbed some bunks in the hostel.
All in all, it has been a great couple of days. I’ve made some great friends and learned so much already. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the beautiful state of Georgia has to offer us. Next stop: Hiawassee! Happy trails everyone
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