Miles Hiked: 10.5
Miles Left: 2142.1
Ending Location: Low Gap Shelter
First off, waking up in a bed and being able to take a shower in the morning is wonderful. We’ve only been out here six days so I feel a bit silly saying that but it’s true.
It was raining this morning with showers forecasted throughout the day so we all prepared ourselves to hike and then set up camp in the rain. Luckily it took us so long to get ready that by the time everyone left, around 9am, the rain had mostly stopped. A hard climb greeted us almost immediately after we left the shelter. It was made harder by the fact that rain gear doesn’t breath and it was in the high fifties so we were all sweating. Once we got to the top the trail followed the ridges so it became much easier.
By that point the rain had completely stopped and the clouds and fog were starting to burn off so everyone started shedding their rain gear. It was at that point I realized I had accidentally grabbed Theresa’s rain pants when packing. I had been puzzled why they were so tight! They will work for now but hopefully we can correct this when B and I get our first mail drop. While I could make a joke about the fact that I could still squeeze into them, I won’t since if I did I’m sure any packages we get will just contain rocks…
The hike today ended up being fairly easy as evidenced by the fact that we did over 10 miles. There was only one other big climb we had to do. At the top of it we met a nice retired couple who were hiding a new geocache. We talked to them for a bit, (thanks T for teaching me the geocache lingo), and headed down. At the bottom of the hill was a road crossing so B and I decided to rest a while. As we were getting ready to leave we saw the older couple again and they wanted to talk to us. They said if we ever got into trouble and needed a ride in the next 200 miles to give them a call. We were both a bit floored by this offer. People are cool.
B and I originally weren’t planning on hitting Low Gap shelter today. In fact after we did it last time we specifically said there was no way we’d hike that far starting out. But then we found bear poop at the first campsite we were going to stop at so that one was vetoed. As we were getting settled in at the second campsite on the top of Sheep mountain we discovered thunderstorms were predicted for tonight. Since we were at the absolute highest point for about three miles we felt it wisest to push on to Low Gap shelter instead. We were fairly beat when we got here so we set up our tents, ate dinner and called it a night. The nice thing about tenting is I can update my journal without annoying everyone else.
Yet another hiker got her trail name. Haley is now “Giggles”. Her boyfriend is still looking for a name.
Tomorrow should be an easy day going to Blue Mountain shelter. The day after that boasts a killer climb. Also B and I both misjudged how long we had till the next resupply. Last time we did the miles to Dicks creek gap it in two nights because we had a plane to catch. That pace wrecked us so we figured we’d do it in three nights instead. Looking at the stopping points though we’ll probably end up spending four nights out here so we may get a bit hungry come Saturday night. We’ll be getting in to Hiawasee which has a great BBQ place Sunday morning so don’t worry, that’ll only be a minor inconvenience. We’ll save the Donner party jokes for the Smokies ;p