Day 8 – A Short Hike on the Appalachian Trail

Day 8

Start: Neels Gap

End: Baggs Creek Gap

Miles Hiked: 4.2

Total Miles on AT: 35.5


Today included a morning of rushing and a half day of hiking. We were trying to get out of our rented cabin in time for checkout, but we didn’t quite make it. The caretaker came in about 30 minutes after checkout, which triggered even more frantic packing. Luckily the damage wasn’t too bad and we were out of there just 1.5 hours after we should have been.

After lunch in town, we got back to Neels Gap and to the trail. We only had about 4 miles to complete today, so that made things easy. The climb out of the gap was a little steep, but short enough so that it didn’t hurt.

Once at the top, the wind started blowing and the clouds gathered to conspire. Their threats were baseless; however, we had already put our rain gear on to be safe. A few drops fell, but that was about it.

We moved down the trail and walked along a ridgeline where damage from previous storms was evident. The top of a tree fully split in half staked itself right in the middle of the trail, while the incomplete base stood nearby, looking at its lost other half.

A few more ups and downs, then a serene green pastoral scene, complete with campsite and a picture-worthy view of the mountains in the distance. With only 0.5 miles left to our campsite, it was tempting to just stop here for the day. But, a half mile lost today would be a half mile gained tomorrow, so we pushed on.

Baggs Creek Gap was quiet today. Three other hikers camped near us. Tonight was our first time hanging our bags, so we all worked together to find optimal sites and perfect our PCT hangs.

The wind has been blowing pretty fiercely, but I’m warm in my tent, quilt, and new pad. I’m excited to sleep tonight!


And that’s day 8.

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