AT Days 4-5

Day 4 Gooch Mountain Shelter to Jarrard Gap (Mile 26.3)Today was tricky to plan. Basically in 5 miles was Woody Gap, which has road access and a chance to go into town and rest (I am super sore at this point so considered it…) 5 miles past that is the next good campsite (lots of space, water source). 5 miles beyond that is an area that I cannot camp because a hard shelled bear canister is required, which I do not have. So it comes down to Option A: 10 mile hike today, 5 mile hike tomorrow or Option B: 5 mile hike today, 10 mile tomorrow. Later I found out it was supposed to rain tomorrow, so I decided to push through and do 10 miles today and only 5 in the rain (Option A).I started with Lorin again. Surprise-surprise, we did not get an early start, even though we were trying for a longer day.We stopped and had lunch at Woody Gap, then pushed on to our 10 mile goal of Jarrard Gap. We were both a little stressed as it got passed 7:30. I pulled out my head lamp just in case we would be stuck hiking in the dark.Luckily we made it to camp around 8pm, just as it started getting dark and quickly set up our tents. Tom was there! He got out of his tent and started helping us set up.Before I could finish setting up my tent, rain started coming down. I hadn’t eaten dinner yet so I quickly ate a protein bar while I walked to hang my food in the rain. I got back in my wet tent and changed into dry clothes.Even though the day was super stressful, I was left with a feeling of adrenalin. We won the day and made it safely before the dark and rain.Also, I made it over a marathon on the AT!! (Jarrard Gap is mile 26.3)Day 5 Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap (Mile 31.3)Today I was ready and on my way by 8:30am!! I finally got going early.My plan was to get going and reach Neels Gap early so I could spend most of the day off my feet.Today’s hike included climbing Georgia’s highest point, Blood Mountain. At the top I found Blood Mountain Shelter. Inside I met Quartz, who was giving Tarot readings and offering coffee and tea. It was warm inside the shelter, and I took a longer break than planned.I had about 2 miles to go after the shelter. Not long after I left, it started raining. For the last mile it was pouring hard.I got to Neels Gap and checked into a hiker hostel, got a hot shower and a frozen pizza.

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