Monday, 3/23

AT Miles = 7.8 / 56.5
Other Miles = .3 / 12.3
Total Miles = 8.1 / 68.8

After yesterday's tough workout I slept a bit late this morning and was almost the last one to leave camp this morning. The day started with a couple of hard climbs, and I was not predicting where I might end up at the end of the day.

The climb out of Unicoi Gap was a tough one, then I crossed Rocky Mountain and descended down into Indian Grave Gap, then up and over until I climbed down into Tray Gap. In Tray Gap there was a man named Bill who had set up a gas grill and was cooking cheesebrgers for all the hikers. He also had a couple of coolersa full of soda, and some folding chairs so we could sit and relax while eating.

I sat there for well over an hour chatting with Bill about marathoning, and he told me he is heading up to Boston in a couple weeks to run the Boston Marathon.

After finally saying goodbye to Bill I struck out up Tray Mountain. At the summit there was a great view down into the valley where Hiawassee is.

Now I am at Tray Mountain Shelter. There are four other hikers here, Jersey Girl, John Nascar, Turtle, and Leather Foot. Oh, I don't think I've mnentioned it yet, but a couple of days ago I was dubbed with the trailname of MonkeyWrench, due to the monkeywrench flag that flies from the suspension line of my hammock.

I got into camp at around 2:00pm and have enjoyed a lazy afternoon. Now we have a little fire going and are sitting around chatting until it's time to go to bed, which will be in about an hour or so.

Tomorow I have 11 miles to hike to Dicks Creek Gap. From there I will hitchhike into Hiawassee and hopefully get a room at the Hiawassee Inn for a couple of nights. A lot of hikers are heading for the Blueberry Patch Hostel, but I am feeling like partaking of some luxury so am opting for a motel room.

I hope to get internet access at the library on Wednesday, so that I can upload my photos. Once I do I'll post a link here so you'll know.

Allen Freeman