Day 4 22.1 Miles Neels Gap to close to north of Unicoi Gap
Started the day off from Mountain Crossing Hostel in Neels Gap with a microwaveable breakfast crossiant and left the gap around 730 or so solo. Had to do some quick readjustments with clothing, it’s always a hassle to figure out homeostatic levels while hiking. I hike 500 feet with a rain jacket then take it off in another 0.1 mile. Kind of tricky thing to figure out. Eventually, Tom from New Jersey caught up with me and we talked about each other’s life and our plans while on the trail as well as gear. I forgot to mention in other posts that Tom and I started the same day. He is a 30 year computer science graduate that recently left a video production job up in north jersey to thru hike. He is also a very physically strong hiker. We hiked together for the duration of the day past Wildcat Mtn and Low Gap Shelter eventually reaching Blue Mountain Shelter. Oh and it was sunny for the first time since the first day I left Amicalola!! No more being shrouded in a cloud. I’m so grateful for just a bit of sunshine. Alot of the wildflowers and new understory vegetation were also smiling to soak up some rays. The trail was fairly gradual leading out of Low Gap Shelter to Blue Mountain Shelter. At Blue Mountain Shelter, we had traveled 18.8 miles up to current moment, but it was only around 3 in the afternoon with some daylight left so I said goodbye to Tom after he offered me some bars (thanks so much Tom for those) and headed down the trail to find a hammocking spot for the night. I didn’t find one for another good 3 miles down the steep north backside of Blue Mountain to Unicoi Gap and partially up Rocky Mountain close to GA 75 (you would know the location if you have some sort of guide book) close to a water source. Woofed down dinner of some Ramen and mashed potatoes using my alcohol (learned a mod for the stove which was exciting), tried to clean off some of my dirty body next to the nearby creek, hung my first bear bag on a lonely limb, and called it a night.
Lesson learned for the day: I need to plan my resupplies a whole better than the last one. I’ve got some practice coming on my next one at Dicks Creek Gap near Hiawassee which should be a 3 day leg.
Got a long day tomorrow up Tray Mountain and Kelly Knob. My first full day past 20 miles are in the books and I’m quite happy that I have done so at such an early time along the journey. It has built some character for me. These north GA mtns aren’t a cake walk. Mmm speaking of cake, I could use some of that right now.