Friday, June 4, 2010

An Appalachian Tale: Part 5

9 May 2010

Yin: Today was a great day for hiking.  We left Neels Gap this morning after most everyone else.  We had to check out of the hostel and Yang picked up some drink mix and a sleeping pad from the store.  It was a bit of a struggle in the beginning hours however our pace quickened by the hour.  There was even one point that I was running down the mountain side!  Towards the end of that run I was met with what appeared to be a wolf, but it was only someones dog... Phew!  We soon found ourselves in Low Gap making lunch when we realized that we left our titanium sporks at Neels Gap!  Very lame!  No problem though, we just made chopsticks and made do.  At this shelter we met two fellow Boy Scouts.  When they found out we had a saw they went and cut firewood for the night.  They didn't seem to mind.  We also ran into a ridge runner called " Razor".  He reminded us a retired Navy chief (not in a good way).  We decided to call it an early night so we didn't have to be reminded of what we came out here to forget.

Yang:  The day started off pretty well even though we couldn't hit the trail right away.  We had to to wait for the Neels Gap store to open up so we could check out of the hostel.  Once inside the store I decided I needed a sleeping pad, and we picked up some Camelbak tablets (electrolyte booster) which proved to be much nicer than drinking plain water.  After that we hit the trail.  We had a pretty good hike and flew past most of the other Neels Gap hikers.  There was one really amazing lookout on the mountain just north of Testnatee Gap.  In the gap we took a little break for some GORP and to cool off.  We watched several cars turn around due to the road being closed.  Motorcycles just ignored the signs.  The rest of the hike today was mostly uneventful.  At some point we made it to the Low Gap shelter.  There already were two guys.  I recognized them to be Boy Scouts by the Philmont brand on one of their hats.  More and more people arrived as the day went on.  They were all just fine minus one.  "Razor", a southbound ridge runner, showed up and the night got worse.  Within 5-10 minutes of arriving he had all of the wood for the night on our fire and was a real "one-upper" the entire evening.  Yin and I decided it was best to spend the rest of the night catching up and avoiding "Razor".  Time now for sleep.  Tomorrow will be a good day for hiking north. 

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