After hiking all the way back up Tray Mountain from my night hike bear scare, I crashed in my bag flat on the shelter platform last night. It was the first shelter I’ve actually stayed in.
There were 5 other guys there. We all played leap frog along the trail the last day and half. One guy, Nate, has his dog with him. It made me think, since I have a small bluetooth speaker with some volume to it, maybe I need to get a digital call of a pack of hunting dogs? Anyone around here hunting bears would be using dogs too. Bears just might be really wary and flee if they think a pack of dogs and a human with a boom stick is coming down the mountain…
On the way down I investigated the scene where I thought there was a bear and cub the night before.
The rain started in harder than usual and held steady from about 10am-2pm.
There’s no rain proof gear, that’s feasible to carry at least, that will keep you dry in 4 hours of rain. None. You’re going to get wet, embrace the suck, and think about other things… Joe Rogan’s podcast was a big help today while grinding it out.
I came upon another solo hiker in the downpour, Matt, whose has been pulling 20mi/day since day 1. He’s killing it. We strung up my tarp in the rain “lean-to” style with some trees and the other end staked to the ground and sat there and had lunch the last 30min of the heavy rains.
Around 2:30 the skies opened up revealing the sun and produced some steamy warmth. Not much action today really. Had a young coyote pop out on trail 15 ft in front of me. We startled each other, I clicked my poles and he bounded off.
Multiple people have commented about me being stealthy. I snuck up silently behind a couple older guys I’ve been joking with the last couple days and hiked literally on their heal. Until I decided to just pop-in on their conversation 30 seconds later, making them both startle and jump around. We laughed and I just bounded off down the beginning of a big decent. I’m loving the downhill game. I smoked those old dudes with over sized packs and foot injuries, ya!
I’m less than 6 miles from the Georgia North Carolina border. I should hit 100 miles in a couple days. The weeks worst rain for the Hiawassee area is tomorrow from about 8am-5pm. So naturally, I hiked about a half mile off trail to yet another hostel.
Top of Georgia hostel has their shit together. Before I even walk up to the door, the host is asking me what complimentary beverage I want and telling me to take my wet shoes off.
She runs you through a tour of the place and turns you loose with a pair of scrubs, a towel, and offers laundry service. The $30 price tag includes the above treatment and of course the shower and bunk.
45 minutes later I’m showered, DRY, and pulling a thick crust pizza out of the oven and eating it on a rocking chair out back, looking at the storms roll into the valley beyond. I’m back in my sandals letting the feet dry out and relaxing in a pair of female nurse scrubs and bunking with Nate, the dog guy. I’m pretty sure the host lady enjoyed giving me the chick cloths.
I’m probably skipping the rain tomorrow, waiting for it to lighten up late afternoon and heading out to cross the state line around dark. It’s all up hill from here, tomorrow is a 3,000ft elevation climb from Dick’s Creek Gap to Standing Indian Mountain. The first summit over 5,000ft on the AT.
Days final stats: