Hiawassee to Franklin NC
The next morning I only had a short walk to the road where I met the shuttle going to Top of Georgia Hostel right in time. They gave me scrubs to wear while my laundry was being done and soon I was whisked to town wearing them. Ate a burger, bought some food, and drank beer next to the store while waiting for the shuttle. It was weird not being in the woods and I felt anxious. That night i didn’t sleep well in the bunk room and bought earplugs as a result. The next day I would hopefully be crossing the boarder.
We got dropped off at the trail in the morning and started hiking. After a mile I ran into Terrible Lizard and Tumbleweed again who had camped a mile in. We ate lunch together and I made the mistake of consuming too much pepperoni. The mix of the greasy food, hot sun, and uphill soon made me feel heartburn. The afternoon seemed to drag on. I felt sick, alone, and didn’t know if I could make it to the boarder but not wanting to camp alone I kept going. Eventually I saw a pipe on a tree with NC/GA on it and a few minutes later I saw a group of campers. I sat a bit and then tried setting up my tent. It was windy and it started to fly away like a kite and I chased after it. I tripped just as I caught it and fell to the ground realizing my ankle had just been twisted. Clutching my tent I started to cry. This was not a good day. A girl came over and brought me out of it by talking to me and soon I was hanging out with the group before a good nights sleep next to an awesome tree.
Awesome trail magic
The next morning I woke up and could tell my ankle wasn’t fully healed. I took some vitamin I and wrapped my ankle with a bandana. We had two challenging hills in the morning but during the descent I rolled my already sensitive ankle. Now it was bothered with most of the steps I was taking and I wasn’t sure how far I’d get. I stopped for lunch at Muskrat shelter and filled my sawyer bag with water to use as an ice pack while elevating it. I was packing to leave when 3 people showed up and asked how it was going. I said I was ok but had twisted and ankle and one of them named Mr. Coolaid man said, “I’ve got some trail magic for you” and pulled out an ankle brace. I couldn’t believe my luck. I put it on and was able to walk at a good pace and when I made it to the shelter I was greeted with “Robi Dobi you made it!”
First long day
I woke up to rain and the sound of almost everyone leaving camp early. I hurried but was the last to leave. I headed up standing Indian mountain in the fog and wasn’t able to see a view but was making good timing. By lunch I’d done 7 miles and got to chill with terrible lizard and Tumbleweed. They caught up with me and passed right after we were able to enjoy an amazing unpredicted view on the ridge. That night I camped with only one other person and it was the first time I felt lonely at night.
The next morning wearing many layers I set out to conquer Albert mountain (which has a fire tower on top). It was foggy and I knew I wouldn’t get a view but I scrambled up and it was sort of fun. There was a bit of climbing involved almost. At the top there wasn’t a view but looking down was eerie it almost felt like there was no bottom. Some people told me the shelter I was planning on going to 7 miles) was closed so I went only two more miles to the other one I could get too. I had a lot of time there. A group of girls came and it was almost all girls for awhile before a few guys showed up. We made a fire and it started to snow. When I couldn’t handle the cold anymore I got in my sleeping bag and shivered through most of the night.
The next morning most of my water was frozen in my platypus and I couldn’t hook the straw to it. I couldn’t light my stove. It was so cold that I just packed up and started to hike. I ate a cliff bar at some point. It was 7 miles of A little climbing and mostly down hill and we got to the gap at noon (30 minutes before the bus was to arrive). Then for 3 dollars I was taken to Gooder Groovers hostel (which was a super hill homely type place). I walked to town in PJs and got frozen yogurt, a free hot chocolate, and some beer. Resupplied at dollar general and headed back. I was having chills that night so the next day I decided to take a zero in Franklin and stay one more night.
I mostly chilled on my zero. I Went to the pharmacy and picked up antibiotics and more food. Then I Went to Walmart and a Chinese buffet with some other hikers because I had nothing better to do. After diner at a diner I started getting anxious about not being in the trail. But recovered from whatever bug had hit, I knew tomorrow I would return.
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It’s great reading about your adventures…you’re amazing !