Tuesday, 3/24 & Wednesday, 3/25

AT Miles = 11 / 67.5
Other Miles = 0.2 / 12.6
Total Miles = 11.2 / 80.0

As I write this it is Wednesday afternoon and I am relaxing in a room at the Hiawassee Inn in Hiawassee Georgia.

Yesterday morning I woke up in my hammock at Tray Mountain Shelter. It had been a very windy night with a heavy fog, and the trees were dripping big fat drops of water on the tarp of my hammock.

I had visions of a hot shower and a big grinder for lunch dancing in my head, so I wasted no time in eating breakfast and packing my gear. By 8:20 I was headed back up the side trail to the AT. (8:20 may not sound like an early start, but Georgia is much further west than Boston is, so the sun comes up nearly an hour later hereabouts.)

It was only 11 miles to the road crossing in Dicvks Creek Gap, but there were a couple of very stiff climbs along the way. It was also a warm and rather muggy day.

I passed a place named "Swag of the Blue Ridge". I've no idea what this name refers to. It looked like any other gap between two peaks, a multitude of which I walk through every day. On my map it is labeled "Blue Ridge Swag." If I get internet access again soon I'll try googling it, or maybe one of my readers could do that and let me know via a comment to this post.

So, I climbed Kelly Knob, descended into Deep Gap, and them back up to Powell Mountain. Finally, I started the long descent into Dicks Creek Gap.

I arrived at the Gap at 1:00PM. There was a local there who asked if I was planning to go into town. When I told him I was he offered to drive me for either $7 or a joint. I told him I thought I would try my luck at hitching instead. It took a total of 3 passing cars and 11 minutes before I got a ride from a gentleman who dropped me off right at the driveway to the motel.

I didn't do much Tuesday afternoon except shower, wash my laundry (NASTY socks!), and eat.

Today, Wednesday, I walked up Main Street almost a mile to find a diner for breakfast, then I walked to the grocery store and bought food for the next 3 – 4 day leg up to Winding Stair Gap and Franklin, NC, about 40 trail miles away. After the grocery store I stopped at the post office and picked up my 20 degree sleeping bag that I asked Jodi to send to me here.

With all my packages in hand I came back to my room, then after leaving everything here I walked up to the library so I coukd post my photos. The link to those in in the previous blog entry. On my way out to walk to the library I ran into Jersey Girl who was also here last night, but I didn't know it. She is heading out of town to stay at the Blueberry Patch hostel tonight. While I was at the library I ran into Leatherfoot. It looks like we'll all be back on the trail tomorrow.

When I left the library it was raining heavily, but it is a short walk back to my motel. Once back, I packed up my zero degree sleeping bag, which has had me roadting every night so far, so I could mail it back home to Jodi. I also made up another box of some of my heaviest clothing, along with some sp;are food and other odds and ends, so that I could mail it to myself at Fontana Dam, just before I enter the Smokies. All that done, I walked back to the post office to send my packages, then stopped at a mini-mart to buy a local paper, and the Subway shop next door for another grinder for luinch.

I love reading small town newspapers. The lead headline is a three page article about the new school gymnasium being built, which notes that at its tallest point it is 36 feet high, and is accomnpanied by several photos to show the progress of construction.

The weather forecast includes a wind advisory until tomorrow night. I guess if the weather is really nasty tomorrow I could head up to the hostel for the night. If not, I'll be b\ack on the trail tomorrow. It's supposed to rain on and off through Saturday.

The North Carolina border is only 9 miles away, so I will soon have completed one state. I look at short-term goals like that because thinking of 2000+ miles or six months is just too daunting. I should be in Franklin, NC either Saturday or Sunday.

Allen Freeman