Appalachian Trail Days 4 – 7

Day 4 – Woody Gap to Mountain Crossing

After having some good R&R at Above the Clouds Hostel, I was dropped off by Achilles one of the shuttle drivers at Woody Gap. I was greeted by a lady who needed some help because someone was giving her some bad vibes so I delayed my hike until those individuals left and she was in the hands of her shuttle driver.

I was greeted by amazing and beautifully green forest. The air was crisp and I was moving along just fine. I hiked alone the entire day until Two Decades a seasoned thru-hiker caught me near Woods Hole Shelter and we hiked together til Slaughter creek. He made camp and I headed up to Blood Mountain.

Wow is all I have to say about Blood Mountain. Until the back side. I was doing great but again got complacent and took a massive fall down one of the rock faces. I ended up taking almost 4 hours getting down from Blood Mountain due to a rolled ankle, which now is about the size of a softball.

The rest of my day went pretty horribly. My ankle felt like it was being stabbed hundreds of times going down hill with every step down on the descent. I made it too Mountain Crossing and caught a shuttle to Hidden Pond Hostel. Once I got settled in I couldn’t put any weight on my ankle and decided it would be the best that the next day would be a zero, the first one of the trip.

Zero Day at Hidden Pond Hostel

My Zero at Hidden Pond Hostel was amazing. The hospitality that Lost Johnny and Rainbow provide here at this quaint spot is remarkable. They have set the bar high and I forever will be indebted to them for their hospitality.

Most of my tramily caught up to me finally, once the day came to a close, Belgium, Brian, Tennessee and Ohio all came and we enjoyed a goodnight sharing stories and shooting the crap together before we all called it a night.

Day 5

Mountain Crossing to Low Gap Shelter. This was a fairly easy route for me. I picked up like I did on my first day. I cranked out a 11.5 miler no problem, my spirits were high, and relatively no pain whatsoever! This was good as I was beginning to think I was going to have to get off trail until June and then flop up to Katahdin and work my way down. The flowers were like nothing I had ever seen out here in the south and was extremely blown away by the biodiversity here. The South keeps doing that to me. I also had a mini heart attack when a group of around 10 turkey decided to jump out of the ferns and get the heck out of dodge about 10 feet from me. Everyone in our tramily except Brian made it this day.

Day 6

Low gap shelter to Tray mountain shelter. My second day back out after my injury I woke up with some aches as everyone would, but I made it about a mile down trail before I was met with excruciating shin splits. I though oh boy here we go again and my mood completely tanked, and even though I was first out of camp I would be the last to tray mountain that night. Let me tell you this was a treacherous part coming down into Unicoi Gap with nothing but rocks and roots all through the trail. Then the heave from Unicoi to Tray Mountain was essentially non stop. But even after falling behind and pushing through the pain and it finally subsiding I was able to crank out a 15.5 mile day nonetheless. I also made it past 50 miles this day which heightened my mood.

Day 7

Tray Mountain to Dicks Creek Gap. Today was the mental game for me. I had made it to a week on trail and I was missing my daughter, my wife, and my dog. It felt like with every step my ankles were going to give out and collapse under the weight of every step. I stopped what felt like every 15 minutes to stretch and try to ease the pain. I ended up meeting two people from Maryland who just brightened my day and hiked with me until Dicks Creek and kept me going. I then had to make the road walk to Around the Bend Hostel to pick up Resupply and I decided to just stay the night since it was around 3pm and I figured it would be better for my body to have a good nights rest in a bed.

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Comments 1

  • Mike : May 7th

    Hang in there man. Your head will knock you off the trail faster than an ankle. I know the trend is towards the lightweight trail shoes but a lot can be said for the higher tighter ankle support of a hiking boot.

    As to the flora it’s just flat out amazing to see the changes that the seasons bring as well as the changes in geography as you move north. When you walk across the dam into the Smokies it’s like a different world. Enjoy.


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