Mai Mai’s boyfriend picked us up this morning at the hotel in Helen and we dropped Rosy off at Unicoi Gap. It was hard to say goodbye but we all will see each other up the trail. Mai Mai and her boyfriend then drove me to Hiawasee to pick up a package send a package with my broken bag home and then buy a new sleeping bag. They dropped me off at the Blueberry Patch hostel for the evening. Mai Mai was going home to see a doctor about her health.
The Blueberry patch hostel is amazing it is a must stay for anyone hiking the AT. Gary and his wife are so nice.
A group of folks and myself from the hostel hitched into town to get some food and pick up a few things. We hitched back and then just relaxed and told trail stories. Early to bed.
Side note I decided to push forward and take a yellow blaze. Yellow blaze = taking a ride to the next town instead of hiking to the next town. Having gear that works is worth it and in the end ill still hike 2000 miles. If your a purist you know who you are and I don’t care what you think and its my hike. Hike your own hike right?
Till next time.
Today was really rough lots of ups and still struggling. Lots of snow still on the trail. It is melting but it refreezes into nice sheets of ice. The icicles and frozen water that flows down the rocks is beautiful. Mai Mai Rosy and I were headed to Blue Mountain shelter and had stopped for a short break. I had good cell signal so i called my girlfriend about maybe overnight shipping my summer weight sleeping bag and had a break down.
Don’s Brother came up and was telling us that Helen Georgia was not that far away and talked us into hiking over the next mountain to get some hot city food and a good night sleep in a warm room. We busted butt and made it into Unicoi Gap.
We were only at the Gap for maybe 5 minutes before a gal stopped and asked if we needed a ride. A very nice lady from the area who had just finished hiking with her friend and had come off the mountain because of the weather also. Her trail name was Faith. She was full of knowledge and trail stories would loved to just listen to her stories for the rest of the evening.
She dropped us off at the hotel Don’s Brother had suggested and we thanked her for the ride and the conversation. We checked in and rested for a bit before heading to dinner. We decided to go to Wendys and ran into Don’s Brother where he invited us to have dinner with him. More great trail stories and delicious food was had. Don’s Brother then treated us all to frosties. Yum.
Finally got out of Neel Gap. The trail was not marked well and went literally straight up the mountain. The trail was really muddy and covered in snow. Still huffing and puffing up the mountains but the coughing has cleared up. Now I get to look forward to allergies kicking in. Managed to get to Low Gap Shelter longest day so far. Set up my tent, forced down food, and headed to bed. Woke up in the middle of the night to my zipper blowing out on my sleeping bag. Spent what felt like an eternity trying to fix it. Gave up and managed to tuck it under me enough to keep it closed. Another cold and sleepless night.
Please make sure to check out my photos on Flickr
Day 8 Due to the weather and wanting to continue to get my health on track Mai Mai Rosy Serenitina and myself stayed in the Blood Mountain Cabins. Nice cabins well worth the $15 for a nice warm night sleep. We managed to get a cabin next to Mother Goose Sue Tortoise and Long Shot. Mother Goose and Sue had been picked up a day or so earlier and brought back a whole feast of food. Was like a Family dinner. So much fun.
Day 9 Woke up to snow. The forecast said that it was to stop and clear at around 9 am. We decided to just stay put. We watched a marathon of NCIS and just took it easy.
Today I took a zero in Neel Gap. It was fun to check out the store. Very cold and nasty wet out. Picked up my first drop box today. Thanks to Purificup for sponsoring the drop.
Woke up feeling better. The hostel in Suches was packed. Met a bunch of nice folks. One gal who goes by Mother Goose is on her 6th thru-hike. She is trying to get 50k miles hiked before she is 80. Full of life and knowledge. Love listening to her stories. Tortoise was in better spirits after meeting Mother Goose and her friend Sue.
Decided to push on to get to Neel Gap to miss the weather. Mai Mai and I plus a whole group of folks with Mother Goose were headed for Lance Creek Camp Grounds.
We arrived around noon where we met Boomerang. A nice gal from New York. She had tent issues with improper storing over the winter months. She was glad to see people. We all decided to push on and get as far as we can.
Met up with Sue Mother Goose Tortoise and Long Shot at the Jarrard gap campgrounds where the bear canister is required for 5 miles.
Mai Mai Sue Barefoot Boy and myself pushed on to Neel gap, but first we had to hike up Blood Mountain. We debated about going around it but we decided it was part of the AT so we had to do it.
Blood mountain was hard but not as hard as Sassafras Mountain. Lots of rock scrambling on the way down. The shelter was really neat.
Made it to Neel Gap around 7 just in time for dinner. A local church group had brought in an awesome spaghetti dinner. Mai Mai scored a spot in the hostel Barefoot boy pushed on. Sue and I were able to get a cabin with two rooms. Was kinda sketchy. The name of the place was Goose Creek Cabins. was nice to be warm again.
Another cold night and little sleep. Lots of wind. Beautiful clear day but the wind was brutal. Very hard to keep my body temp controlled. The plan was to hike to Lance Creek Camp. Managed to get to Woody Gap where we met a gal with the trail name of tortoise who was calling it quits. Allen a trail angel who was headed to work on his cabin stopped to see if anyone needed a ride.
He told us about the hostel in Suches and was awesome enough to give Mai Mai and Barefoot Boy and myself to the hostel.
Having a rough night worried about my cough and my issues breathing. Thinking about leaving the trail.
Last night was darn cold in the shelter at Hawk Mountain. Very little sleep.
Hiked from Hawk Mountain shelter to Gouch Mountain shelter. Hiked with Roy and Mai Mai again. We ended up going down the wrong trail for about a half mile uphill. Came back down and found the trail and headed out. A nice hike lots of up hills. Roy had to stop and told us to continue.
We hiked over Sassafras Mountain. This might have actually been harder to hike up than the approach trail.