Today is going to be another big day but the weather is clear and spirits are high as we are getting closer! Yesterday they did 18 miles from Carter Gap Shelter to Blue Ridge Gap. They said the terrain was easy and their pace was steady as there weren’t any big changes in elevation yesterday. Today they headed out around the usual 8am start time to do 19.8 miles to Indian Grave Gap. It’s an ambitious day, but I think they will do great! I am in Hiawassee today and I am really trying to soak it all in, part of me can not believe we are here! I was here two years ago to visit Dion when he attempted his first thru hike. It’s wonderful to be back with him and Buddy!
Someone should really create a good site for people who are slack packing the AT. I just love when there is a “road” crossing marked in the book and shown on my map app, but is really northing but logs and rocks piled on each other never becoming flat and easy to maneuver. There were a few times up in NH when I was really worried about coming back down some of the crazy paths I had dared to go up to meet my boys. Yesterday, driving up Blue Ridge Gap reminded me of those times, the “road” was crazy! Thank goodness our Jeep really likes rocks, mud and being driven almost sideways. I tried to capture some pictures of what it looked like, but unless you are in the Jeep looking at what you are coming down it just doesn’t do it justice. I wanted to capture a little bit of a “drive in the life of Mommy Backpacker” so when Buddy asks, “what did you do today mommy?” I can show him how epic my day was and how thankful I am that the Jeep made it another day and I was able to meet them. There should be a list of roads that are accessible and then rated on a scale of 1-10 on how crazy you need to be to be willing to drive up them. Some road crossings in ‘The Book’ aren’t marked as parking spots but are and some are marked as accessible parking spots but really should be labeled “At you’re own risk, 4×4 only!”
Just another part of the adventure! We are all making sure to take it all in as we enter the last few weeks of our trip. We are sad to be ending the AT adventure, but as everyone else does too, we have already began planning our next adventure before we even finish this one. Long trails are a healthy addiction that change your life. How could one possible be expected to go back to, “normal life,” once you’ve experienced real life?