Days 4 through 8 on the Appalachian Trail
I felt groggy leaving Neels gap. After sleeping in a cozy cabin the night before, it was really hard to get going again. The sun came out for the first time so far which was a mood booster. I lay in the sun on some rocks just 3 miles into my day. Being able to relax and be in the moment felt so good. I hiked the rest of the 11.5 miles with my headphones in listening to classic rock. I stayed at Low Gap Shelter with about 15 other people camping. It was the first day in my new Oboz boots and they felt really good.
The day started off with four miles of flat terrain which was really nice. I soared through it and got to Unicoi gap for lunch around noon. I then started the steep uphill and stopped to get water halfway up the mountain. The top was sunny and warm so I took a break. I continued down to another gap and then up Tray mountain. My feet were starting to hurt on the downhills but I felt strong on the uphills. I arrived at Tray Mountain Shelter at 4 pm after a 15.5-mile day. The campsite was really pretty and I was able to see the sunset and sunrise from my tent.
I left the campsite at 6:45 am and headed down the mountain. It was a steep downhill and I wasn’t super happy to be starting the day with a downhill. I warmed up quickly and took my puffy off after a mile. I arrived at Dicks creek gap to take a lunch break at 12:30 and there was trail magic waiting for me! The Kentucky Krew gave us a pancake wrapped around a hotdog with peanut butter and syrup. It tasted so good and was the perfect mid-day pick me up. I sat there for an hour and a half letting my feet rest and talking to all the other thru hikers. Eventually, I had to force myself to get up and keep hiking. I only had 4.5 miles left out of the 15.4-mile day and they went by fast. I arrived at Plumorchard Shelter at 4:30. We made a fire and hung out until hiker midnight (7 pm).
I got an early start on the day because I knew I had to get in 17 miles. I was up and hiking by 6:40 am which felt really good. It was fun seeing the sun rise as I walked down the trail. I hit the GA/NC border within the first five miles of the day. It is my first big milestone which was so exciting!! North Carolina greeted me with some super steep uphill that really got up heart rate going. I got my favorite view so far on trail on top of Standing Indian Mountain. We took a lunch break at a road where Two Tents’ parents were going to drop off Subway. Unfortunately, there was a gate closed five miles away from where the trail was. Two Tents decided to hike down to his parents, pick up the subway sandwiches and cokes, and hike them back to camp for dinner. Pneumonia, Ramen (aka Carly), and I were so thankful and they tasted so good after a long day. I am super proud of doing 17 miles, especially after two 15 mile days. We camped at beach gap which was a huge campsite with about ten other people. It was the second night in a row that Ramen and I were the only girls at camp.
I woke up to my water bottles frozen. I got dressed inside my sleeping bag and quickly packed up my stuff. It was too cold to make breakfast so I just started hiking. The sun quickly came out and started to melt the ice from the trail. I sang “here comes the sun” as I hiked. My blisters were hurting a little but I was grateful to not be sore after the last few days. It has been tough breaking in boots while I hike big miles but I am so grateful for the ankle support. We climbed Mt Albert and got to the 100-mile marker. I have officially hiked all the miles I did last year! My feet started to hurt as I climbed down the mountain. I ended my hiking day at 15.5 miles at rock gap. I got a shuttle into Franklin, NC with Pneumonia, Two Tents, and Ramen. We are spending the night at a hotel and are going to do a nero tomorrow (8miles). I have already eaten two burgers within three hours. Super excited for the smokies later this week!
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