Neels Gap to the top of Rocky Mountain
Day 4 we took at zero day. We all took a shuttle into blairsville to resupply and got the most talkative driver ever. There couldn’t have been more than 1 minute without him talking. We got into Blairsville and did a resupply at the local walmart. Stocked up on food and party essentials for a trail family birthday celebration.
We got back to the hostel with a bit too much beer, cigarettes, hot dogs, and cupcakes. The celebrations began with a hikertrash cigarette candle in Itchy’s cupcake. We were getting ready to grill up the hotdogs when an amazing church group brought by some lasagna as trail magic. We scarfed that down like hungry wolves, hung out for a bit, and it started to rain again. That night while hanging out outside, we met Mogley and Oatmeal. Finally, we all crawled into our warm hostel beds after a much needed zero day.
Waking up in a bed was an amazing feeling. We all felt refreshed and ready for the climb out of Neels Gap. We got to see some amazing views on our way to Low Gap shelter even though there was a fair amount of fog.
We finally all made it into camp. My tent was all set up and ready to go for the storm when two spots opened up in the shelter. Hoping to avoid the hassle of putting away a wet tent, Joplin and I both packed up our gear and settled down in the shelter.
There was so many people at the campsite that night. We met Shepard from Australia, Soup, and a couple of section hikers. We were all eating dinner when I made the inevitable mistake of boiling too much water for my MAC and cheese. Some brilliant hiker told me to add in some mashed potato mix (which was luckily four cheese mashed potatoes), and it was probably one of the best meals I’ve had out here. After dinner, everyone hung out for a bit and then went to bed.
I was so glad to not have to pack up my wet tent that morning. It was definitely a great decision to sleep in he cozy hostel and have completely dry gear. One thing that we pretty much all came to realize, however, was that most of our bear bags were not as waterproof as we thought. Luckily, nothing was ruining except a couple of cigarettes here and there. We all headed out for the long day ahead after a hardy breakfast.
It was so foggy that you really couldn’t see more than 15 feet in front of you. It was eerily beautiful. Everyone caught up to each other in time to overhear that there was trail magic at the bottom of Unicom Gap, but they were about to be done. We all literally ran down Blue Mountain in hopes of hot dogs, burgers, and sodas. Luckily, we all made it just in the nick of time.
We devoured all the food that the wonderful people were handing out, and took a nice long break to digest and unwind a little before the daunting climb to the top of Rocky Mountain where a campsite was waiting for us.
After a small doze for some, and just a nice long break for others, we all started to climb up the trail. Once we got to the top of the mountain, the sun started to come out for the first time all day. The campsites all got set up, and we all settled down for dinner.
The top of Rocky Mountain was beautiful once the clouds were all gone. We enjoyed a nice fire and each others stories for a while as more people rolled in.
These first six days of hiking have taught me so much. One thing I can definitely say is that no matter how tall a mountain may seem or how rainy it might be, you have the ability to get through it with a little determination. I can also say that a big part of your enjoyment in hiking (and in life) can come from the people around you. I have had more laughs out here with people I just met than I have probably had in the last month. This is really a great group of people, and I am definitely happy to call them my hiker family. ❤️
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