Warm beds and slack packing
The fourth day out, we arranged to slack pack (hike with just day supplies) southbound back to Angeles Gap. The same trail angel extraordinaire Jimmy gave Bunny – a/k/a. Mile Marker – and I a ride to the first gap with a road north of Neels Gap and we essentially hiked back. It was wonderful. Jimmy and his wife stayed in the same cabin complex as we did last night and KNOCKED ON THE DOOR this morning, ready to give us a ride back to the gap to continue. He has now reached the status of a god in my eyes. We will miss him – but he’s going to try to find us in Hiawassee in a couple of days.
As for the hiking, it’s a pretty predictable routine – steep out of the “gaps,” and it levels off a lot toward the top. Then there is an hour to as much as three “ridge walking” before heading down low – almost always to either water or a road, or both.
We stopped at Low Gap shelter and scored our first shelter spot for a night.
Looking at the profile, we may be able to make it to Unicoli Gap tomorrow.
We’re tossing around trail names for me. So far the best suggestion came from Tutu – a 12 year old hiking with her family. We had considered “Scattered” as a testament to my awful pack organization. Tutu swung her finger around at me, pointed, and said VERY authoritatively, “Chaos!” Pretty sure that might be the one to stick.
Mile 43.2. I skipped the miles 17.2 – 31.7. It was far more important to get my gear to a point where it was safe to continue and to safely skip the 12 mile section where bear canisters were required than it was to not skip that part. I was stressed as HECK about that 12 mile section, so I’m fine now. If I make it the rest of the way, I’ll come down and Sir Packs-a-lot will hike it with me. He’s been a great support to everyone out here- including keeping the guy alive that packed a hatchet and no sleep pad. He’s another good customer at Mt. Crossings.