Miles hiked: 4.0
Today was rocky. With yesterday’s push, today was a short one that only consisted of tackling Blood Mountain, a mere 4,461 ft high bump on the earth.
It was a cold night and no one in the shelter wanted to get up, including me. I awoke before 7am and laid in my bag until almost 8:30 when my bladder forced me to finally get up. I left the shelter at 9:15.
My clothes were still wet from two days prior so I started the day wearing my long underwear and rain suit – by the top of Blood Mountain, I realized this was a bad idea as the temperature had increased significantly.
The climb up Blood Mountain was much easier than expected. I stopped at the top and took a few pictures, but they don’t come close to accurately presenting the view.
I also took a minute to change into a t-shirt. The climb down was extremely rocky and I noticed the impact on my knees a lot today. I reached Neels Gap at 11:45am. At Neels Gap, there’s an outfitter store as well as a hostel, which is where I’m staying tonight.
First task: getting a room and some real food. For $20 I got a room and some detergent to wash my clothes. I then grabbed two microwavable cheeseburgers, an apple juice, and a coke. After claiming a bunk, I sat down and immediately ate both cheeseburgers and a couple bags of chips that were left at the hostel by a church group. This was the greatest meal ever.
Second task: shower. It felt so great to wash the wretched gargoyle stench off. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any clothes to change into so I jumped back into my rain suit.
Third task: laundry. All of my clothes were soaked from the rain and sweat and smelled like monster funk. After washing everything and changing into some fresh, dry clothes, it made a world of difference. Not as much as eating real food, but still pretty nice.
I took the afternoon to organize everything in an attempt to drop some weight from my pack. The hostel has an oddly large collection of old VHS tapes so there was a series of old school movies being displayed on a gigantic 19″ screen. It was fantastic.