Rocky Mountain to Muskrat Creek
Pro tip: don’t sleep on top of a mountain on a rainy night. We woke up literally in a cloud. I must say it was definitely beautiful once the sun came out a little, but boy, was it cold. We all got a late start in the morning because no one wanted to crawl out of their warm sleeping bags. But as they say: no pain, no rain, no Maine.
After a very rough start, we all started hiking down the mountain (which was more of a river at that point). The views were gorgeous going down the mountain, and I got to meet some great people on the way down. A couple miles down the road, we all stopped in to eat lunch at Tray mountain shelter. Then of course, it started raining. Luckily, I was able to wait it out under the shelter. However, getting down that mountain was like a slip and slide. Thank the heavens I had trekking poles or I probably wouldn’t fallen flat on my face a couple times. The day wore on, and what seemed like an eternity later, I finally ended up at Deep Gap Shelter.
The shelter was definitely one of the nicest ones I’ve seen, and with the rain likely to roll in again, I decided to sleep inside. We all had decided to take a nero day and sleep in town the next night, so we all went to sleep fantasizing about BBQ and a nice warm bed.
Everyone woke up feeling ready to roll. We all ate small breakfasts to save room for the delicious food that was waiting for us in Hiawassee.
Climbing out the gap was definitely not the best part of the day, but once we got up the hill, it was all downhill from there. Shortly after, we all met up at the parking lot and eagerly awaited the shuttle. Turtle was nice enough to walk down to the Top of Georgia hostel and grab us sodas. Finally, after waiting 45 minutes past the designated time, the shuttle arrived.
We arrived at the wonderful Budget Inn, checked in, and took nice long showers. We all piled into Rib Counrty and devoured some delicious BBQ. Then we all resupplied, and found the perfect banana for Harambe (who has a banana tattooed on his arm). We all headed back to the hotel and sat around in raincoats and towels while waiting for our laundry.
Finally, we were all cleaned up and in clean clothes. Of course we were all down to eat more food, so we all headed up the street to a Mexican restaurant. As per usual, we had clean plates within a couple minutes. After gulping down some beers, we headed back and hung out in front of the Budget Inn. Hiker midnight came and went, and we all rolled into bed around midnight.
We all woke up bright and early and ready to hike. We all had planned on making the 9am shuttle; however, the shuttle services were only subpar, and not all of our group fit. Luckily, hitchhiking out of town was easy enough for Itchy and I. We luckily snagged a great lady and her awesome dog. We had survived our first hitchhiking experience and arrived at Dicks Creek.
We rolled into the parking lot just to find that some awesome trail angels had brought some snacks and sodas. Unable to resist, we each ate a second breakfast and reluctantly headed out of the gap.
The hike was grueling and overcast, but we had a big achievement ahead of us: North Carolina. We finally all crossed into our second state of the AT, and we couldn’t be happier. KitKat couldn’t resist the urge to moon Georgia to show how glad we were to be out of the state.
After some great laughs and a terrible climb, we all made it to Muskrat Creek Shelter. We were all hanging out by the fire, and it started pouring out of nowhere. We all raced back into our tents, and hoped that it would stop the next morning.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.