Neels Gap to Dicks Creek Gap
8 days in, 70 miles down.
Day 5: Left out of Blood Mountain shelter, feeling good. I got a shower and a nice night of sleeping in a warm bed. It was marvelous having that for a night. I hiked back up to Mountain Crossings because the trail goes through an archway beside the shop, grabbed a couple bananas and a protein bar and got on my way! It started uphill, going up Levelland Mountain, down to Swiam Gap where I filled up my water. Caught up with Boston and Dylan, hiked with them up and down cow rock mountain, passed Whitley Gap Shelter (which was 1.2 miles off trail) and got to Low Gap Sheter. Set up my tent and started eating! We heard there was possible rain that night and it came!
Day 6: Woke up, broke camp at around 8, it was misty and muggy, my tent gets wet inside and out because of condensation. No big deal though because I’ve found that everything on the Appalachian Trail – is temporary. I can easily set my tent up when it clears up and dry it out.
Hiked on through Poplar Stamp Gap to Chattahoochee Gap and up to Blue Mountain. Got to the shelter and it was a nice shelter but all the guys said they were gonna try to camp at Unicoi Gap, and rumers were spreading that there was trail magic here. Descending Blue Mountain was tough on my knees. So far Georgia has been difficult but it’s great to push ourselves to the limit and get those trail legs ASAP! After a pretty tough day, we get to Unicoi Gap and are greeted by very nice people from a church in Kentucky, they were grilling Cheeseburgers and they had all kinds of candy and soda – pretty much the best thing ever!
We decided we couldn’t camp by that gap and hiked up Rocky Mountain and camped at the top! 11.1 miles
Day 7: Woke up to beating winds and pretty much freezing rain, around 8:15 I got my stuff down really quick and – forgetting to stretch, headed down Rocky Mountain, my knee by this time was pretty sore. I put on a ace bandage and kept on trucking. Ran into Boston at Indian Grave Gap, ate a snack and started to ascend Tray Mountain, gaining 1,317 feet up to 4,430 ft vista! We got to Tray Mountain Rd and by this time the wind was still whistling through the trees and it was really cold, there was a guy there that was starting his grill about to make some food and me and Boston decided to wait it out with 3 other guys. Very worth it. Quickly after eating, we headed up Tray Mountain through awesome rhododendron trees, the top of the mountain was awesome, very green and it was misty, making the view just fog. The wind was so bad it was taking water from trees, turning up mist and beating against us. This is still really cool! Thru hiker mentality I’ve found is “just keep going”. We went up and down and passed through the Swag of the Blue Ridge – still not sure what that is. Finally, arriving to Deep Gap Shelter, tucked away out of the wind. This was the first shelter I’ve slept in, it was very cool. It slept 12, there was a doorway to two bunks on both sides, able to fit 2 on each. I slept on the left side. It was supposed to be very windy and cold on this night so I wasn’t risking it, this shelter was weather proof. It was built in 1991.
Day 8: We woke up and it was pretty cold, a couple guys temperature gauges said 25. I slept in the shelter so it was a nice easy morning, I ate 2 snickers packed up and got going to get warm. We hiked over and down Powell Mountain and got to Dicks Creek Gap, 69.6 miles from where I started. I’m just gonna round it to 70 🙂 So we decide to split a room at Budget Inn in Hiawasee. They shuttle everyday at 9 and 11 AM. We got one at 11, got picked up in this old white Dodge Ram Van. It was sweet, we through our packs in the back and head on to Budget Inn. The guy that picked us up was a larger fella with a beard and a sleeveless shirt, he was a nice guy I could tell. No sarcasm intended. We stopped by Unicoi Gap, nobody came and so we take off. As were driving, I notice the grass is greener, dogwoods are blooming and so many things are so awesome. Budget Inn isn’t a 5 star hotel or anything, 40 bucks a night, TV, full bathroom, can’t beat it. We ate some Zaxbys and it was delicious! Ended up ordering pizza as well, which was a very confusing situation. We ordered pizza from Big Al’s pizza and 10 minutes later, our pizzas get here. We pay and we open everything and it ends up not what we ordered. It was actually a whole different pizza place delivered an order to our room (the wrong room). We get the pizzas we ordered and paid for them as well, another 45 dollars which was so worth it. End up calling the police because they won’t refund us even though we had nothing to do with that pizza place.. Anyways we got the money back and we got to keep the food! Good calories!
It’s 10:45 right now on Sunday, March 29th and I’m hanging out in the room, thinking about where I’m gonna get some breakfast! And buy some FOOD! We should cross into NC on Monday! Until next time 🙂 love you all!
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