Finding our Temporary Hostel Home

At the Gooch Gap shelter, the decision was made to find a hostel for the next night’s stay. Our gear was absolutely saturated from the previous day’s soaking rain. Reservations were set with Above the Clouds Hostel.

I can’t rave enough about the support that the hiker community receives from hostels. Seems that most of the hostels are staffed by experienced Appalachian Trail hikers and their advice and experience is noteworthy. After our pick up shuttle in arrival to hassle, it didn’t take long to determine that we would slack pack the following day. Neel‘s Gap back to Gooch Gap, a distance of approximately 14 miles.

The weather during our slack pack hike couldn’t have been any better. Well, it was a long day the trail magic that waited us at Gooch Gap made everything perfect.

After another night in the hostel, we sat off from Neel’s Gap to Hogpen Gap. While it was only a 6 mile day, the Hills challenged us every step of the way.

Back to my pack, weight dilemma. That’s a hostel, an immediately started separating some gear that I did not need. With some additional Geer exchanges and a big box of stuff sent home, I was able to get my pack weight down to 46 pounds. There’s more work to be done, but it’s progress.

Our tramily has some decent trail names. Lolly (as in Lollygag); Flash (retired firefighter); Blue (he came into the shelter, one night, cold, wet, and looking blue); Running on Empty; and Yo Baby Mama.

Big mileage trail day tomorrow to beat some weather.

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