Neil Gap to Hiawassee

Neel gap to Hiawassee

Trail Name

My dad wanted to give me a trail name so we had a brain storming session.  My favorite animals are elephants , and my favorite childhood book was Robi Dobi, a tale about an elephant who goes on an adventure.  A little untraditional but I liked the ring to Robi Dobi, and it seems to have stuck!


Nero day 1

I took that Zero (Nero day=did some walking) at Neel Gap. Laundry was done while wearing rain cloths. I took atshower and it was one of the best showers I’ve ever had. Then my dad and I went to get a “pack shakedown” where they try to lighten your load and send things back you don’t need.  I lost about 4 pounds of stuff (bags, random things I hadn’t used, many medical supplies  a rain cover and towel I want back).  I kept my brush!  I also got a squeeze type of water system (sawyer)  and new boots!  My mom arrived and the dog jumped in the car.  The last bit of time felt rushed and very soon I was back into the woods with two new friends Tumbleweed and Terrible Lizard (who I’d camped with a few times before). We missed our campsite of choice but found a beautiful one looking into the valley.  I was worried about water but Tumbleweed found some!  Enjoyed the sunset and then off to bed.

Hot dog surprise

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise but had a late start on the trail.  We ran into a few views on our walk and then into some day hikers who told us of upcoming trail magic.  Went quickly hiked down to the first gap where we were greeting by beer and soda.  Looking at the hill ahead I choose a soda but next time I will choose the beer!  After an steep up and down we ran into hot dogs, chips, and soda.  We had been dreaming of hot dogs earlier so we were stoked!  After being full though waking was difficult and the day trudged on till we finally made it to the shelter.  Set up camp and went to bed after dinner.

First rain

Woke up at 3 am to the sound of my first rainfall on the trail.  Listened for awhile before eventually getting up and packing all my stuff in my wet pack,  putting on wet shoes, and packing a wet heavy tent.  I trudged up the trail and a ridge runner said I’d only gone 2 miles in the morning which got me down.  Stopped to dry everything out and eat lunch.  Hiked mostly alone today until I reached the shelter where I cooked dinner with Tumbleweed and Terrible Lizard. Day light savings time had happened so we ate in the light for the first time!

Second rain

We started down a downhill in the morning to some more trail magic (chips and crackers).  Then I hiked up the first mountain of the day where I ate humus next to a view. It started to drizzle when I started headed downhill.  Then there was another climb to do where I ran into my two friends again.  Right when the rain was almost gone it started raining harder as I headed to the top of Trey mountain.  Once on top I heard some thunder and with not much cover on top I wasted no time going down.  Got to the shelter and  during a break in the rain set up my tent.  Cooked dinner in the cold and my Chana masala wasn’t done but a hungry hiker helped me finish it. Went to bed early just to warm up and hoped the next day would be warmer.

Hot after Cold


The next morning I left at 11 since I wanted all my stuff to dry off.  I was mostly alone today and it was really hot out. Go to the last place to get water (apparently a steep downhill) where some guys offered to get me water.  Then I started up Kelly’s Knob (the Georgia one). It was a 800 feet climb In a mile so I went slow and steady and counted my steps. Eventually I got to the top where there was a lovely view and I hung out in solitude and made some phone calls. Then I headed down to the shelter and picked a campsite.  My two friends tumbleweed and terrible lizard showed up and I thought it would the last night I’d see them, since I was staying in a hotel the next day and they were moving on, but I ended up seeing them just the next day 4.  Excited for my first town day tomorrow!

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Comments 5

  • TBR : Mar 23rd

    Beer, hotdogs, chips, crackers? Dee-Luxe!

    Packing up a wet tent … the worst. Except starting a day in the rain, worser. You have to be a determined hiker. Nice views!

  • PAM : Mar 24th

    Wow Hillary- your travels are so exciting-glad the weather has been good for the most part. Stay safe Robi Doby!

  • francois : Mar 24th

    Sounds like it is going well. Thanks for keeping us posted. Have fun.

  • Hans : Mar 26th

    Nice stories and facebook pictures too ! Sounds really beautiful. You’re very courageous and energetic !
    We clapping and cheering you on with high fives….!

  • Lisa : Mar 27th

    My brother is leaving out from Neels Gap in the morning. He had also had to deal with a lot of rain and wet gear, but after a zero day today seems to be in better spirits.


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