Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 9 - Day 13

Day 9, mon 24 march
Start neel gap, 1130
End gap just south of tesnatee gap, 5.5 miles, 1730

Feet sore, couldn't go further, made our own campsite, got snowed on 1/2 in,heard owl, got buzzed by c130
View from cowrock mountain

Getting water from a spring along the way

Filtering through shirt to filter out sand/dirt

Sterilizing water with SteriPen


Day 10, tues 25 march
Start south os tesnatee gap, 1030
End low gap shelter, 6 miles, 1630

Woke up to ice and snow on tent. Packed up and got to hiking, ate on the go. Very windy. Trail magic/trail angels were waiting at tesnatee gap with snacks and hot coffee, king tut and jay. Just what we needed.  wind was crazy strong out of west, got snowed on second half of day. Hendo's feet numb and sore at end of day, but ankles feel better. Hendo and hendos mom both like new boot inserts. Freezing cold,wind is insane.
Campsite near tetanee gap, snow on tent in morning

Trail Angels King Tut and Jay at Tesnatee Gap with hot coffee and snacks

Hiking in the snow and wind storm


Day 11, wed 26 mar
Start low gap shelter, 1015
End just south blue mtn shelter, 1615, 7 miles

Got snowed on last night, was freezing cold, coldest night yet.  Started rather easy, last 2 miles of boulder slide killer, camped with Mother Nature and Smokestack.  Chilly all day and sunny, no blisters feet tired body achey ready for zero day.
We call these Ice ice crystals along the trail to Blue Mountain

Hendo's Mom by frozen waterfall on trail to Blue Mtn

Boulder field just south of Blue Mtn campsite...killer traversing.

Blue Mtn campsite


Day 12, thurs 27 mar

Zero day. We spent the day at our campsite near blue mtn shelter. We slept, read, went and got water, ate some, that was it, lotsa notta. A great zero day.
Sky watching on zero day

Hendo's Mom relaxing in tent on zero day


Day 13, Fri 28 Mar
Start south of blue mtn shelter, 1015
End Unicoi Gap, 3 miles

Rained all night and was raining when we originally woke up at 0600, so we slept in until 0900 when the rain stopped. Packed up enerything and headed to Unicoi Gap. Our plan was to get to Unicoi Gap, get a ride into Hiawassee, GA to resupply and get a ride back to the trail and camp on the trail.  However, Hendo had a slight mis-hap and plans changed.  On the last descent into Unicoi Gap, Hendo's Mom was well out in front of Hendo as usual.  The entire hike had been tricky as it was rainy, foggy, muddy and slick.  I was about as graceful as a water buffalo on ice skates.  Mom was well out of sight when I stepped down along the trail, slipped in the mud and fell off the trail, rolling down the mountain 20 feet, finally being stopped by a tree.  I laid there for a minute, I had knocked the wind out of myself, hyper-extended the fingers on my right hand, bruised my right forearm, twisted my left ankle and bent one of my hiking poles.  All this time, mom was enjoying trail magic in the unicoi gap parking lot, hamburgers and hot coffee.  I am ok, just a little beat up.  We decided to get a hotel for the night in Helen, GA.  So we have resupplied on food, had great mexican food for dinner and
are bedded down in the Super 8 Motel for the night.  The motel offers a great hiker rate of $35/night.  Oh, and had a good dose of Jack Daniels and ibuprofen.
Hendo's Mom hiking in thick fog and rain to Unicoi Gap.


  1. What an adventure. Funny "Water buffalo" comment. Liked the idea, woke up at 6am still raining, waited until 9am, rain stopped. Smart.

  2. Just catching up on your blog... glad you guys are doing OK... what an adventure!!! Hoping the weather gets better. All OK here in Cottonade!