Saturday, 4/18

AT Miles = 15.6 / 372.5
Other Miles = 1.5 / 16.7
Total Miles = 17.1 / 389.2

I climbed Roan Mountain today. From Hughes Gap at 4040 feet, the trail climbs to Roan High Knob at 6285 feet in 3.3 miles. The first 1000 feet are gained in about a mile and a half, then once you've warmed up with that little climb the trail gets serious and the next 1000 feet are climbed in a mile. Whew! After that you are more or less at the top and the grade eases up so you can enjoy yourself up high. And to make it even more interesting, I had already hiked about 14 miles just to get to Hughes Gap so I could start this little climb!

It was actually another really fine day of nice hiking. About six miles into the day I came to Greasy Creek Gap and decided to walk down the siz tenths of a mile to the hostel named Greasy Creek Friendly (get it? Friendly versus hostel which almost sounds like hostile) to see if I could get some fresh cooked food. When I got down there a sign on the door asked to "Please knock," so I did. A guy withe the trail name of Shepherd answered and I told him I had heard a rumor that real food was available there. "Well, yes and no," he said. My heart sank, and I asked him if this was a yes day or a no day. He went on to tell me that the woman who ran the place and cooked was away at church, Saturday being the sabbath for Seventh Day Adventists.

I believe I actually whimpered a little bit, and told Shepherd he was breaking my heart. Being a former thru-hiker he understood. Not all was lost as there at least were some microwaveable entrees in the freezer and I availed myself of a few of them, along with a couple of cups of tea, while I was there. Not the fat juicy cheeseburger and crisp fresh salad I was craving, but at least my detour wasn't for nothing, though I did question the wisdom of the extra 1.2 miles while I was plodding up Roam Mountain at the end of the day.

Allen Freeman