March 13, 1998

3/13/98 Blue Ridge Gap

10.9 miles (73.1 total)

What a day! Spent the evening last night with Rosco figuring ways to keep warm. I tried the hot water bottle trick which worked great. Rosco also tried putting hot rocks in his cook pot, covered it with his wool sweater and placed that in the sleeping bag. Too hot he says. I have now tried to rename him Hot Rocks. It wasn’t as cold as I thought. This morning the sun was shining as I quickly broke camp so I could get back to the Blueberry Patch to retrieve my spoon.

Met a lot of people on the way down. You should have seen the look on Gary and Lennie’s faces when I showed up looking for my spoon. Back on the trail again, I ran into Nut, Disco, April Moon and John, who spent two nights at the Holiday Inn in Hiawassee. I must be a lot stronger than I thought walking because I flew by them, even though I wasn’t trying to and since I had already walked five miles back to the gap. Everyone stopped back at the Plumorchard Gap Shelter for lunch. I was all for moving on because it was still early and since I had already spent a night at this shelter. Chick, who I met when his tent blew apart on Tray Mountain, decided to push on another two miles to another campsite.

A great little campsite outside of Hiawassee.
That's my blue tent in the background

I soon put distance between the two of us. At the end of the day I had 12 miles, but only two miles closer to Katahdin.

As we ate dinner, it became apparent no one followed us. Seems hard to believe thru-hikers that have already taken a day and a half off would only do a 4.4 mile day. It’s along way north. The campsite is great, with a view, firewood and the temp is better than it has been in days. Hard uphill 10 miles tomorrow.