Lovely place to grow a beard

After a rough day one, the past few days have been great. Day 2 started off with a very cold morning , but the sun gradually burned off the clouds and we had a beautiful blue sky and crisp conditions. With some breakfast and snacks, I was feeling much better and was excited to get hiking. With a two mile descent, it was an ideal start. After a couple miles, we stopped at Long Creek Falls for a break.

Long Creek Falls

Long Creek Falls

Our destination for the night was Hawk Mountain Shelter. Upon arrival, Carson and I setup camp and prepared a fire which burned beautifully for a good 4 minutes. Great success.

Look what I have created!!!

Look what I have created!!!

During the night a helicopter buzzed right over camp. Apparently the Army Rangers train in the area this time of year. Speaking of warlike conditions, I also survived my first privy experience (outhouse). It sure ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done.

Whatever you do, don't look down

Whatever you do, don’t look down

Day 3 was another beautiful day for a hike. On the agenda was the summit of Mt. Sassafras, the steepest climb to date. We had been hearing about this climb since the shuttle ride from the airport. Not quite having my “trail legs” yet, this one mile ascent really kicked my fras.

After the descent down Sassy, we had lunch under a tree in Cooper Gap with an older couple from Georgia and a gentleman in from London. Later in the day we met his trail friends Roger “Taz” from Tazmania and Sarah from Rhode Island.

That night we camped at Gooch Gap Shelter. Camping space was limited so Carsoni and I set up our tents literally on the edge of the mountain. While we went off for water, a stealthy squirrel chewed through Carsoni’s tent and got into his pack to get some trail mix (Side note: Kirkland Signature trail mix may in fact be worth eating through a tent for) Although he was initially seeing red, eventually I think Carsoni was excited to work his Angus MacGyver magic and get the zipper back on and seal the tent.

If you're having squirrel problems I feel bad for you, son.

If you’re having squirrel problems I feel bad for you, son.

Finally, on the beard front, I’m coming in hot, red hot.


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