Mountain Crossing/Crossing Mountains

Whitley Gap Shelter to Neel Gap. 7.9 miles.  31.7 miles to go.

Had a great night at the shelter. Started a fire and had cell service so I was able to call home and talk with the girls.

Woke up, ate breakfast, then fell back asleep for an hour since I didn’t have too far to go today.

Had cool weather and a little sun for the afternoon.  Made it to Neels Gap at 4:00.   The trail goes right through the outfitter/hostel.  This is the only spot the AT goes through a building.

I climb 1350 feet up Blood Mountain in the morning.   Looking forward to some good views.

50 for 50

Unicoi Gap to Whitley Gap Shelter. 15.7 miles.

I’m one of those people. I finally weighed my pack at the hostel before I left for the trail. With 3L water and 6 days of food, my pack weighed 50 lbs. I thought it was 35…since I’ve carried it over 200 miles, I guess it is OK.

Breakfast at the hostel, then a ride to the trail.  No blue skies, but no rain either. Made it to my destination shelter at 2:30, and decided to go one more. Made it to new shelter at 6:00 for my longest day yet.

Shelter was empty, so I gathered wood for a fire and cooked dinner as the sun set.  Great night.

Leavin’ on a midnight train to Georgia on my mind

Muskrat Creek Shelter to Top of Georgia Hostel via Dicks Gap. 11.8 miles.

North Carolina – Georgia border

Woke up early and hit the trail at 8:00 with my new friend Megan, the California engineer.  It took me 21 days to find a SOBO that hikes at my pace.

Made it to the Georgia border and the Chatahoochee National Forest, I’m just not sure what those muddy waters meant to me.

Made it to Dicks Gap and checked into a really nice hostel by 3:00. Relaxing the afternoon away.


Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.Ben Franklin

Siler Bald Shelter to Franklin, NC via Winding Stair Gap. 4.2 miles. 

Popped out of the woods and caught a ride into Franklin, my last chance for a city on the trail.  Shower, bed, and Chinese Buffet. Walked into a Walmart for resupply and was overwhelmed.   Back to the woods and on to Springer. 

Passed a great waterfall before I hit the highway.  


Long day

Fontana Hilton to Brown Fork Gap Shelter.   12.8 miles

It was a long day today. My feet and lower legs were sore from all the downhill yesterday, and I just didn’t have “it” going. I have enough food but short on trail snacks. It really helps to eat something before a climb. I also have a heavy food bag after my resupply box.

Made it to the shelter about 6:30. Still had 30 minutes of sun. Shared the shelter with a guy in the British Navy. He has already completed the PCT and is very close to finishing the AT. He is also doing 25 miles a day, over twice what I can manage.

You meet all kinds out here.

We’re half way there, Livin’ on a Prayer

NOC to Cold Springs Shelter. 11.7 miles.   3331 foot climb.

How I feel (video link)
Great day out of the NOC. Had a hiker breakfast at the restaurant, face timed home, then headed back to the woods for a day of climbing. Great weather and good views, especially from a fire tower on Wesser Bald.

When I made it to the shelter there was a guy here not only from Austin, but he lives off Far West. Small world, even at 5000 feet up in the Appalachian woods.

Tonight is going to be cold, but I’m snug in my bag. Goodnight Moon.

Short day

Nero (near zero) Brown Fork Gap Shelter to NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center)  via Stecoah Gap.  2.4 miles



Needed a bed after pushing hard for a fee days to rest my feet. Popped out of the woods at Stecoah Gap (NC Highway 143) and caught a ride to the NOC.   Traded my boots for my crocks, did laundry, showered twice, ate 3 big meals, slept on a mattress, downloaded a new set of podcasts, made reservations for my next 2 stops and relaxed the afternoon away.

This place reminds me of a hiking, rafting, biking Sipapu. Need to come back with the gang sometime.     The river runs right through the resort, you watch the kayakers practice the Rapids.

Back to the woods after a good breakfast.

Big climb out of here tomorrow. Another 3000 feet.

“Fefe la Snack”

Cold Springs Shelter to Siler Bald Shelter. 11.6 miles

 A fairly easy day of hiking today. Beautiful weather again with some nice views, especially from the stone observation tower at Wayah Bald.  Lots of locals on the trail for a Sunday afternoon walk, with their tiny,  fluffy dogs in sweaters. 

I was alone at the shelter. After reports of lots of mice at the shelter, I set up my hammock across the meadow from the shelter, ate a quick dinner of tuna on a tortilla, and tucked into the hammock. Stayed warm with the temp dipping into the low 30s. 

Tomorrow is a 5 mile hike and a ride into Franklin, NC. You can find me on the map again.