Day Seven: Crossing the border
Packed up in the morning and grabbed the shuttle from the Hostel back to the trail at Dicks Creek Gap. The Hostel said 100% chance of rain tomorrow (Sunday), but only 50% chance today. I started the morning with some pretty good climbs up to Bull Gap. Bull Gap hardly seems like a Gap at all. It’s like a tiny Gap in the top of a mountain.
There were a lot of ups and downs on the way North to the Carolina border. In the 5.5 Miles from Plum Orchard Gap shelter to the view/summit above Sharp Top, it was a little over 1500ft climb composed of smaller ups and downs. There was also a good amount of downage across the trail. Ran into a couple of spots that hadn’t been addressed and had to pick around it. No big deal, but a first for my trip.
Possibly the best news for the trip happened today: I finished my section hike of Georgia! Officially crossed into North Carolina. Renee and I did a bit of a happy dance and took pictures for each other at the border sign. We also crossed at the EXACT moment that south bound flip-flop hiker “Super Mario” was crossing into Georgia. Couldn’t have timed it that way we if we tried. Step for step, this guy showed up at the border sign at the exact moment we did.
After the celebration, it was time to finish my hike in North Carolina.
Not to be outdone, Carolina immediately delivered steep climbs to almost 4900ft. Coming down from those climbs, Renee decided to play some music. I think that’s just what we needed. I hadn’t played any music the whole week but now we were both grinning ear to ear celebrating our cross over into North Carolina listening to “Oh My Sweet Carolina” by the Zac Brown Band. I found out later that we did 203 flights of stairs worth of climbing today. Some great views, the first where I’ve seen bodies of water along with the mountains, made it a little sweeter.
We got to my intended stopping point at Muskrat Shelter early enough in the day that I decided to push on to Deep Gap.I was thinking that might allow me to avoid hiking in the rain tomorrow and maybe I could even get picked up earlier than anticipated. Besides, while I have a partner to hike with I might as well see what a 16mile day feels like. I got in touch with my ride and sure enough – I’ll get picked up a couple hours earlier on Sunday! That will make the drive home easier and get me back to my family around night fall.
Even though I was feeling good, I did manage to get my first blister today. I treated it early so it was manageable. Looking back I realized I had to throw my shoes on pretty quick on the shuttle this morning and probably didn’t tie them well enough. I guess details can make the difference. I slapped a moleskin patch on there and it got me through.
Overall, today I knocked out 16 miles between 9am to 7pm! At Deep Gap, I met Renee’s boyfriend Chris and their dog where I said some farewells to my awesome hiking buddy. Thanks Renee!
Renee and Hannah gave me my official A.T. Trail name: Pace Car. I was glad to be able to set a steady pace for them and earn my trail name in such an organic way.
Since it was getting late, I rushed to set up camp and get some food cooked before dark. I was able to do both and spent the rest of the night reflecting on my journey.
I section hiked Georgia and traveled a total of 85.1 miles in 7 days! I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity. Hope to see you next year, A.T.!
P.S. Even though my daily re-caps are done, keep your eyes peeled for a few more articles about my journey!
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