Most of today was a long ridge walk. So far we have mostly been sticking pretty close to Dad. One or the other of us would scoot ahead (mostly me as I’m the impatient one), but generally one of us would be nearby. Today we saw there was a water source pretty soon into our hike, so we decided to forgo filtering water at the site and do so on trail.
Jessica and I stop to filter and send Dad on ahead. After we were done we take off to catch up.
Then we don’t. We’re walking for 20 minutes. No dad. Walking for 30 minutes. No dad. We start to wonder if we could’ve missed him and contemplate going back to check. At around 45 minutes we catch him and all breathe and a sigh of relief.
The first 5 or so miles of the hike had a pretty solid even trail, and he had just booked it! Last 2 miles and change was rocky and steep though.
Also passed the 50 mile mark today so feeling very good about that!
Our tent spot overnight at Low Gap Shelter. They were so full that the tents spilled out all the way to the other side of the trail.
Dad and Jessica ahead of me.
Low Gap Shelter in the light of day.
My tent got all kinds of debris in it. This was my flailing attempt to get some of it out.
I think they call this hiker TV.
Miles hiked today: 7.3
Miles hiked total: 50.2
Dad looked at the elevation change for today and decided that it would be best if he sat this small section out and came back to do it once he had his trail legs. 2 mountains, 2000 ft down, 2500 ft up, plus other incidental ups and downs.
So, we got up and it was super foggy.
As we got started, it rained on us a little. With the wind and cold we pulled out our rain gear and wore it for a while until it settled down.
We came down into Unicoi gap soon after to some trail magic (Beer, Moonshine, fruit, burgers, and hot dogs.). I had beer and a few sips of the moonshine. Note: I’ve yet to have trail magic alcohol after noon so far.
I passed on the food because Dad had been talking up this place in Helen GA as the best ruben on earth. So around 11 we hitched down to Helen from Unicoi gap (hitch obtained in less than 5 minutes) and went to Cafe International for a ruben and beer.
The ruben was super tasty, but did not beat the place we went to in Flat Rock, MI for Carol’s brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. So #2 so far. Our waitress talked with us for a while about the trail and sent me on with a bottle of beer to take on the trail.
Tim came by and gave me a ride back up to Unicoi and I hiked on solo to Tray Mtn Shelter. Dad was not wrong, those two mountains were killers.
As I was going along I ran into a group we’ve been passing back and forth that stayed at the same site as us during the hail fiasco: Rain-x, Sarabi, and Danya. I hiked the rest of the day with them and we all camped at Tray Mountain Shelter.
Unicorn (sp) Gap.
Jessica hitching a ride.
At Cafe International
Rain-x, Sarabi, Danya and I at the summit of Tray Mountain. Carol says this isn’t the worst picture of me, but I’m not sure.
Miles hiked Today: 8.6
Miles hiked total: 58.3
I got up and out pretty early – moving at 8:20. Had the same fog issuss today.
I went maybe a little faster on the downhills than in the past and I can tell and little bit in my knees tonight.
After I got to Dicks Creek Gap, Tim picked me up and we stopped at the top of Georgia hostel to grab the hat I ordered then went to a buffet in Hiawassee. For dinner Dad was floored that I’d never been to zaxbys, so we went there.
I’m other news I’ve been craving the little strawberry candies that are packaged to look like strawberries. They apparently stopped at 4 places earlier in the day looking for them and came up empty. We went to 2 more in Hiawassee and didn’t find any. It’s so weird, these things are ubiquitous, so why the hell can we not find them anywhere!?!?
Fog on the trail.
Swag of the Blue Ridge. No idea what this means, at all.
Down in the lowlands off trail, a cherry tree blossoming.
Miles hiked today: 11
Miles hiked total: 69.3
We’re planning on being in NC in 2 days!