Sunday, 3/22

AT Miles = 18 / 48.7
Other Miles = 2.5 / 12
Total = 20.5 / 60.7

Staying at the hostel at Neels Gap was a nice break from hiking. I don't sleep very well in a bunk room with a bunch of other people, some of whom inevitably snore, but the comraderie with the other hikers staying there made up for the lack of sleep.

Here's something for you, Denis. On Saturday evening we were watching "Deliveranbce" in the hostel common room while Pirate, the hostel caretaker, was wearing a shirt that said "HIKE FASTER, I hear banjo music."

I left Neels Gap at 7:30 Sunday morning and settled into a nice rythm climbing out of Neels Gap, enjoying the early morning sounds. When I was a half hour out of the Gap, maybe a mile and a quarter, I finally realized that the hat that was supposed to be atop my head was instead still hanging on a hook in the bunkroom back at the hostel. There was nothing to do except turn around and head back down. That little misadventure added about an extra 2 1/2 miles to my day. My Dad used to tell me that just because my head came to a point didn't necessarily mean I was sharp. I guess he was right.

My destination for the day was Low Gap Shelter, but I arrived there at 1:45, which was too early to stop, so I decided to keep walking until 4:00pm and see where I was.

As it turned out where I was at 4:00pm was on a beautiful piece of trail, but there was no water so I had to keep going until I reached Blue Mountain Shelter at around 5:00pm. Blue Mountain is 18 miles from Neels Gap. Adding in the extra 2.5 miles I walked to retrieve my hat, I hiked a total of 20.5 miles, my first ever 20 miler!

Allen Freeman