Saturday, June 5, 2010
An Appalachian Tale: Part 6
10 May 2010
Yin: I would have never guessed where Yang and I ended up tonight! Last night at Low Gap shelter, another hiker, Renee, told us of a re-stock point about three days away called Hiawassee. And here we are the next day! Yang and I originally planned to skip visiting the town altogether because we had only just come from Neels and we felt spoiled stepping off the trail. However, while having lunch at the Blue Mountain shelter we realized we could see our breath at noon! It was a gorgeous view though. That shelter was located on one of the highest points of the ridge, so when we got there it felt pretty cool being one of the highest things as far as one could see. After lunch Yang and I attempted to innovate various ways of keeping warm. Our best idea was to build a lean-to inside the shelter and then put boiling water in the lean-to to optimize heat retention. After pouring myself over the maps though, we eventually decided to hike the 3-5 mile downhill to the nearest road and hitch a ride into town. So here we are, in Hiawassee Inn, ran by a Vietnam vet, a full two days ahead of schedule! For supper we went to Subway where we quickly found out how much the locals like hikers. We got a massive amount of food and drinks and cookies all for seven bucks! I have a feeling we will be staying here another day.
Yang: Last night was very cold. Yin and I learned that our sleeping bags were not heavy enough for a cold night on a mountain! We were eager to pack up and get away from the killjoy called "Razor" (who waited for everyone to leave). We made really good time today, and were at our next shelter in about 2 1/2 hours (Yikes!). We had a decent lunch of fried spam and crackers and began to realize it was going to be another cold night. It had just turned twelve and we could see our breath. We toyed around with some ideas to stay warm, including building a second lean-to inside of the shelter and putting hot water in our canteens inside of our sleeping bags. Over the next hour though, it just kept getting colder. We decided we should try to get to town. We found a road about 1 1/2 miles down the trail (much closer than the 3 or 4 days Renee had told us about last night) and found a ride to the Hiawassee Inn. We got a room with two beds, a bathroom, and a television. After a refreshing shower, we walked up to Subway for a quick dinner. We noticed the employee was being generous with our toppings, but I was still surprised by the following: overall, we got two footlong subs (overstuffed), drinks, chips, and four cookies for around seven dollars! Awesome! They seemed to like hikers in this town. We got our subs to go, walked to the nearby Marathon gas station, and picked up a six pack of beer. When we got back to the room, we enjoyed our goodies and our good fortune (it started to rain). After some television, it's time for bed.