Archive for March, 2011

Day 7

Decided not to take a zero yet, likely will at the next stop. Today I got from Unicoi Gap to the Tray Mountain shelter, just over 6 miles, but a pretty difficult day. Tomorrow will be longer but easier.

As of 4 PM, I’m the only one at this shelter, first time that’s happened. I didn’t see as many people as usual today, and I guess the few who passed me headed for campsites farther down the mountain. I doubt I’ll have the place to myself all night though, there’ll probably be more people rolling in soon.

The weather was overcast all day, and it’s been threatening to rain but there haven’t been more than a couple of drops so far. The weathermen say only 20% chance too, so it’ll probably stay dry.

I thumbed a ride back to the trail. Fred, one of Helen’s 400 residents, was nice enough to pick me up not 30 seconds after I put my thumb out. Nothing like Southern hospitality!

Here’s Helen’s main street this morning. Didn’t take anything but scenery pics today otherwise.

Location:Turner Rd,Cleveland,United States

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Thunderstorms?

There were thunderstorms predicted today, but they never showed up. Maybe these are those clouds blocking the sunset. I might wish I’d kept the rain gear on later.


But this is the view right now.


Burger and fries on the way.

Location:Tannen Weg,Helen,United States

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Day 6: Happy Birthday!

Funny how I almost forgot it’s my birthday today. I was planning on stopping at Blue Mountain shelter, but after I got there and found it empty, I checked the guide. The road into Helen, GA is only 2.3 miles down from the shelter. So I walked to there an called for a cab. That makes this easily my biggest day at 12 miles, but I’ll have a bed and restaurant food and laundry tonight. Happy Birthday to me!

Speaking of laundry, here’s how hikers do it: put on your rain gear and wash everything else. Here I am standing outside the laundromat as I write this post. Rain pants too.


I might stay an extra day here for my first zero day. And on the seventh day and all… Or I might hike on, Hiawasee is only another couple of days away.

Location:Unicoi Turnpike,Hiawassee,United States

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Day 5

Left Neel’s Gap a bit late today, almost 11. Stayed for more trail magic, a church group was cooking up burgers. They got there and started setting up just as I would have been hiking out.

Didn’t quite make my goal of Low Gap, but I think I made 9 miles, which still makes it my longest day. I’m camped about 2 miles short. Turtle Feet and Heartsong are here too.

The gnats here, wherever this is, are pretty annoying. I am holed up in my tent trying to avoid them, and killing the ones that snuck in.

The hike over Wildcat Mountain today was one of the toughest sections yet. Not as long as the walk up Blood Mountain, but the steepest yet. It was not helped by the nearly 80 degree weather. Ran out of water at the top, but was able to get more after the nice easy descent down the other side.

Location:Town Mountain Rd,Blairsville,United States

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Decor

The decor at Blood Mountain cabins a couple of days ago. 20110319-090508.jpg

I was in the “Fox” cabin. Can you tell? Kind of creepy!

This post was testing updated WordPress app that might geotag better. I think it does. But it also changed just about everything else in the app and may be all sorts of broken for offline use with pictures now. Argh.

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Day 4: Blood Mountain & Neel’s Gap

From Lance Creek to Neel’s Gap. Over Blood Mountain, which was the biggest climb so far. Still 7-8 miles just like every day. I’m feeling pretty good, just minor aches and pains, no blisters bigger than a tic-tac.

Got the world famous shakedown at Mountain Crossings, wound up sending 4 lbs of stuff home. All they sold me was one stuff sack. I have good gear apparently just stuff i didnt need. Logan really wanted me to ditch the Kindle, that was about the only advice i didnt take. Pack weighs in at 33lbs now with food but no water. I still have probably 5 days food, I was way overpacked on food, but so is everyone else.

Dinner tonight will be at the Mountain Crossings hostel, at 7, but I’m staying just down the road at Blood Mountain cabins, which are awfully nice after 4 days on the trail. Power, cell signal, a SHOWER, a bed, laundry done by the staff.

Tonight I’ll figure out the next few days travel, go over my food and restock anything that needs it in the morning (and throw some stuff out to make room). I’m surprised how good Lipton chicken noodle soup packets taste after walking all day. I only had one dinner of that, and it was my favorite. I knew they were popular with hikers, for the weight, but they really hit the spot too. Watch for a future post about how sick I am of them.

I will likely start splitting posts into text only like this and then picture dumps. I have spotty cell signal sometimes, but getting those pictures uploaded is too much for it most of the time. I posted those last two lying on my back on top of Blood Mountain holding the phone up in the air. People with Verizon phones have a much better time of it. I hate them! I did drop my phone on rock today, but tragically it survived, no conveniently necessary Verizon upgrade for me.

Location:Appalachian Trail,Suches,United States

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Day 3: Trail Magic, Trail Name

Started at Gooch Gap shelter, 9am, hit Lance Creek at 3:45, about 8 miles. 7.3 to Neel’s Gap tomorrow. No shelter here just tent pads and water, but it’s bright and sunny and good weather predicted the next few days.

Country Mouse and Shadow are here too. Shadow and I bonded over the Bull and Mouth bar in Riverside, CA of all things. It’s nit there any more though.

Carol and Gail set up a trail magic table at Woody Gap with sandwiches, fruit, Gatorade, etc. Carol thru’ed last year at 65 years old! My first ever pimento cheese sandwich was fantastic and so welcome.


That’s Carol, aka Lil’ Engine, on the left.

While sitting around at Woody, people were just calling me California. Seems like that might stick as a trail name, haven’t yet seen anyone else from California, so it works.

Had some great views today too, here’s one from whatever mountain is just past Woody Gap.

Location:Georgia 60,Three Sisters Mountains,United States

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Day 2

Hawk mountain shelter to Gooch Gap shelter. Staying IN the shelter tonight, last night was in the tent, and it rained hard from midnight on. Which was fine, I stayed dry all night, but packing up in the rain is no fun. At least it just drizzled all day, the real rain stopped at 9:30, right when I was all packed up and hitting the trail.

This is the first white blaze on the trail, at Springer. Didn’t take many pictures today, didn’t want to take the camera out in the wet.

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Day 1

Springer at 10am to Hawk Mtn Shelter at 3:30. About 9 miles, plus an extra mile to get up to Springer. Feel fine, nothing sore, one tiny blister on my little toe, nothing to complain about.

Only had a cell signal once while I had the phone on, don’t have one here at camp. Will post this when I can. And apparently this app won’t geotag without a network connection. The other one won’t save geotags in local drafts. Sigh. The latter should be fixed next version, I reported it and they said it would be. Until then my locations might not be as accurate as hoped. I’ll still tag em when I have a signal to post em though.

Here’s me on top of Springer. Click for larger version I hope.


Sorry about the stupid kids camped back there. There’s a shelter two tenths of a mile down too. Grr.

Location:Suches,United States

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Day 1

Springer at 10am to Hawk Mtn Shelter at 3:30. About 9 miles, plus an extra mile to get up to Springer. Feel fine, nothing sore, one tiny blister on my little toe, nothing to complain about.

Only had a cell signal once while I had the phone on, don’t have one here at camp. Will post this when I can. And apparently this app won’t geotag without a network connection. The other one won’t save geotags in local drafts. Sigh. The latter should be fixed next version, I reported it and they said it would be. Until then my locations might not be as accurate as hoped. I’ll still tag em when I have a signal to post em though.

Here’s me on top of Springer. Click for larger version I hope.


Sorry about the stupid kids camped back there. There’s a shelter two tenths of a mile down too. Grr.

Location:Suches,United States

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