A quick note on a hiker named Trek: Trek is a dominative man, but has a hardened, tough look to him. Perhaps it was his military service. He walks when he feels good, and stops when he wants. He takes zeros as many or as few times as he wants, and generally doesn’t care about any trail drama whatsoever.
Trek can do this because he is on his TENTH thru hike of the AT. Nine times he has done the AT. NINE TIMES. Sometimes he does it in 3 months, sometimes 6. Anyway, he’s awesome, and we found out later from another hiker that he liked our group! Such an honor from a bonafide AT expert.
In the morning we left Hiawassee and drove back to Unicoi Gap. I felt better since I started taking medication for my bronchitis and was eager to get back on trail. As we pulled up, 8Track and his lovely wife Kathy arrived in their RV, “promptly” pulling down the awning, and handing out a three course serving of Trail Magic. Pancakes, sausage, eggs and bacon, washed down with cider and maybe something a little stonger, it was truly magical. Our stomachs full, we started up Rocky Mountain.
Rocky Mountain is a steep climb, and due to the low clouds, we hiked through a dense mist, sweeping in and out of the trees. We took our time on the tough climb down due to our knees begging for mercy. But, as is the way of the AT we soon started back up, now on Tray Mountain. Down again, and 5 miles later, we found ourselves at Sassafras Gap. We’d share this camp with no one but the rain. We managed to set up our tent and rain fly with minimal rain inside of our tent but by the time we were all settled into our tent early in the afternoon, our packs were soaked. Fortunately, everything that needed to stay dry did and we listened to an audiobook for a few hours before the rain lulled us to sleep. Continue reading “Appalachian Trail Thru Hike: Unicoi Gap to Winding Stair Gap”
The contrast between the Alabama Hills, and the eastern escarpment of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is something to behold. Below; smooth, earth tones abound, as stacks of monzogranite boulders lay scattered in all directions. Above; a sharp, blue wall of glowing granite, with Mt. Whitney serving as the highest spear tip. Tucked into the labyrinth, hide natural arches. The best part, it’s just one stop on the outdoor playground that is, California’s HW395! Continue reading The Alabama Hills & Other Adventures on Cali’s 395.