Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Hooch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 DL
    Tarp
    Speer Winter Tarp
    Insulation
    Burrow & Crowsnest
    Suspension
    WhoopieSling/Strap
    Posts
    4,380
    Images
    46

    AT Section, Unicoi Gap to Neel Gap

    Before starting in on this trip report, I have to give credit where credit is due. If it hadn't been for some very good advice, I wouldn't have had as good a hike as I did. So, many thanks to my friends Bulldawg, Cool Breeze, Skids, Ray, Smokestack and Mother Nature. Many thanks also to Cool Breeze for the shuttle and to Bearpaw for showing me how to take better pictures. Also thanks to the maintainers of the GATC for keeping that section of trail in excellent shape. I didn't have to climb over a single blowdown.

    So this past Saturday I'm at work, keeping busy and thinking about how nice it would be to get some trail time in. I thought about heading up to Damascus and seeing if I could get a shuttle out of there, but then started thinking about Georgia. I've been wanting to hike there for a while now and started things in motion with a few texts exchanged via BlackBerrry with Bulldawg. I also called Cool Breeze at Mountain Crossings to set up a shuttle. I went home, packed a few things and got some sleep, hitting the road the next morning fairly early to make the drive to Mountain Crossings for my shuttle at 10.

    Just as I arrived at Mountain Crossings, the merry band of Bulldawg, his son, Mother Nature, Smokestack, Skids and Ray were showing up. I had a brief reunion with them and started talking of my hike plans, which were originally going to be Springer to Neel Gap. The rest of the folks I know who hike down in GA a bit thought that Unicoi to Neel would be a better section for me. So with a quick change of plans, repackaging some food and loading up my pack into Cool Breeze's car, we were off. We made it to Unicoi Gap where Cool Breeze and I chatted a bit as I started to get my boots on. Lucky me, one of my boot laces popped, so I replaced it with a length of orange 550 cord and hit the trail at about 1120.

    The inital climb up Blue Mountain and out of Unicoi was, for me at least, quite challenging. A lot of it was rocky and steeper than most of the climbing that I've done. I think Roots called it the "Georgia Welcome". It took me a while to get out of Unicoi, but finally got to the top. Once I got to the top, I took a nice break at a campsite near some very pretty flowers. I think someone called them Fire Lillies, but I'm not positive. They were pretty flowers, just the same.



    Moving on, I quickly came to short side trail to Blue Mountain Shelter, which was in excellent shape, along with a nice water source just past it. I signed the trail register and then moved on to the water source where I added an extra liter or water and topped off my Gatorade.





    Just past the water source, which was still flowing fairly well, I walked over a pretty cool looking rock.


    I also started noticing some tiny orange mushrooms here and there.


    The hike on to Low Gap was relatively easy, with very little climbing to be done as I hiked southbound. The trail was in excellent shape and I enjoyed the hike very much. About 2 miles from Low Gap, I came across some kind of animal droppings. I wasn't positive what kind it was, but believe it to be bear scat. It was too big for anything but a deer or bear and I even thought it was too big for a deer as well.


    I pressed on and came across a wonderful, very fast flowing spring coming out of the side of the mountain just before Low Gap. Not being sure what the water situation was at Low Gap, I topped off on water there. I filled up everything I had; my Gatorade, my water bottle and my 3 liter Platypus as well, then continued on to the side trail for Low Gap Shelter. When I got there, I met another hiker named Dave who was hiking north for a few days. The shelter was in excellent condition and the water source was flowing great as well.


    I got my hammock hung, made dinner, cleaned up, talked with Dave and hit the rack for a good night's sleep in my hammock. My hang for this trip was my Speer IIIa setup with my SnugFit and Top Blanket III. The SnugFit was attached to my hammock, but hanging to the side in case it was needed before the morning. I never did have to use it, but did pull my Top Blanket III over me part of the way a little after midnight.


    I hit the trail the next morning around 9:30 or so after breakfast and lounging around camp a bit. The climb out of Low Gap wasn't too bad, especially with fresh legs. I was still a happy camper at that point. It was a pretty quick hike to Hogpen Gap. Along the way, saw lots of pretty little blue flowers.

    And an interesting looking mushroom.

    I made Hogpen in short order, took a couple pics and headed up the mountain toward Whitley Gap shelter.



    Going on the advice of my buddy Bulldawg, I skipped the shelter entirely, but took the side trail towards it for the view that he had told me about. It was well worth the trip. I was rewarded with a wonderful view, the first this trip and a great place for a break. To my right, I saw Cowrock Mountain, which would be my next climb out of Tesnatee Gap.




    After heading on and reaching Tesnatee Gap, I took a quick break and headed up Cowrock, which was also a pretty challenging climb for me. Once I made it to the top of Cowrock, there were more views to enjoy.







    Not long after making the top of Cowrock, I ran out of water and began searching for the next water source. Everything was dry as a bone and made for a long, dry hike until I finally ran across water. I began trying to filter my water when a copperhead peeked his head up and let me know that my presence wasn't appreciated, so I grabbed my stuff a moved down the trail a bit to filter my water. Once I stopped to filter, my gravity filter decided it didn't want to work anymore, so I treated it "Lone Wolf style" and just ran it through a bandana to remove the chunks. And for the record, the water tasted fine and I've yet to get sick.

    I continued on the trail, hiking pretty slow and tired from the climbs I'd made that day. Finally, I reached Mountain Crossings where I was greeted my Cool Breeze with a cold Sprite and a ride to my car for the drive home. All in all, an excellent hike. I know there are those out there who do monster miles and my find this amusing, but I'm pretty proud of it. I set 3 personal bests on this hike. Saturday, I hiked 10 miles, Sunday I hiked nearly 12 miles and this was the lonest section I've done as an overnighter at nearly 22 miles. So for me, this was a great trip, indeed.
    Last edited by Hooch; 07-01-2009 at 19:48.

  2. #2
    peanuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Loganville,Ga
    Hammock
    ENO
    Tarp
    wb superfly
    Insulation
    yeti,peapod(1st v
    Suspension
    whoopies treestrap
    Posts
    1,725

    Thumbs up

    glad you had a nice trip. awesome pictures........

    .....why i wasn't invited(just kidding
    Peanuts

    "A womans place is on the trail"

  3. #3
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Hammock
    DIY GreenBeanHammock
    Tarp
    DIY Tarps/HG Cuben
    Insulation
    Frankenquilt/Pod
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    14,486
    Images
    62
    Brilliant report Hootch! Had it all but some dehydrated LiverMush ...... Hey, wonder if that would work. Then I gotta get to Charlotte and get me some as in Minnesota it just ain't.
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



    Shug's YouTube Videos

    Hammock How-To Videos ..... Essentials For Noobs

    Shug and Friends Jammin'

  4. #4
    Hooch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 DL
    Tarp
    Speer Winter Tarp
    Insulation
    Burrow & Crowsnest
    Suspension
    WhoopieSling/Strap
    Posts
    4,380
    Images
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Brilliant report Hooch!
    Thanks, that's quite the complment from a master cinematographer such as yourself. 'Preciate ya.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Had it all but some dehydrated LiverMush.......
    Hey........

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Hey, wonder if that would work.
    Sounds like a good experiment for my next day off.

  5. #5
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    near Memphis, TN
    Hammock
    WB Traveler
    Tarp
    ZPacks CF
    Insulation
    Te-Wa / HG / WB
    Suspension
    Whoopie Hooks
    Posts
    9,686
    Images
    92
    Thanks for sharing, Hooch. I enjoyed the report.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,463
    Images
    353
    Love it! Need to be doin it rather than just readin it! How were the temps while hiking, and at night?
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    Hooch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 DL
    Tarp
    Speer Winter Tarp
    Insulation
    Burrow & Crowsnest
    Suspension
    WhoopieSling/Strap
    Posts
    4,380
    Images
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Love it! Need to be doin it rather than just readin it! How were the temps while hiking, and at night?
    Sunday the high was around 90 or so with a low that night at Low Gap shelter of around 70. Hiking Monday, the temp felt to be in mid-80's. It was definitely cooler than Sunday, but still hot and very humid.

  8. #8
    Sweeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Hammock
    BIAS WW Dbl 1.1
    Tarp
    HG Cuben
    Insulation
    HG 3S Incubator
    Suspension
    Slings or Straps
    Posts
    453
    Images
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    Sunday the high was around 90 or so with a low that night at Low Gap shelter of around 70. Hiking Monday, the temp felt to be in mid-80's. It was definitely cooler than Sunday, but still hot and very humid.
    Thanks for the report, Hooch. I've walked that section before going the way you did. You did indeed take a pic of some bear pooh, we've had a good bit of activity in that section this year, so much that I've heard that the FS is discouraging camping in some areas South of Hogpen.

    My group is thinking of doing a AT/BMT figure 8 hike next weekend around the Springer area down to the Stover Creek Shelter. I'll probably be using my old Speer since my BB is not scheduled to be hear until mid-July or so.

    PH

  9. #9
    Sweeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Hammock
    BIAS WW Dbl 1.1
    Tarp
    HG Cuben
    Insulation
    HG 3S Incubator
    Suspension
    Slings or Straps
    Posts
    453
    Images
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by Purple_Haze View Post
    Thanks for the report, Hooch. I've walked that section before going the way you did. You did indeed take a pic of some bear pooh, we've had a good bit of activity in that section this year, so much that I've heard that the FS is discouraging camping in some areas South of Hogpen.

    My group is thinking of doing a AT/BMT figure 8 hike next weekend around the Springer area down to the Stover Creek Shelter. I'll probably be using my old Speer since my BB is not scheduled to be hear until mid-July or so.

    PH
    Oh, and be careful on the untreated water in that area - my buddy Thunderbolt and I got a BAD case of the Big G coming down the side of Tray Mountain last spring!

  10. #10
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aiken, South Carolina
    Posts
    504
    Images
    4
    Hooch, That sounds like a very good hike and your report is, as always, exceptional. I think a 22 mile overnighter in the heat and humidity of the Ga mountains is pretty heroic...after all, it's supposed to be fun, isn't it?
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •