Long live Holiday Inn Express. A good breakfast with a little bit too attentive woman stocking the food items. I filled my pockets with food for the trail. I managed to get a call into Whitney just as our cab driver returned to bring us back to the trail. This time he must have been caffeinated up because he never shut up. He told us about the decapitated girl hiking near Blairsville, attack Bobcats and man hating boars. We looked at each other. Someone had taken the very big skin of last nights driver and poured a clown into it. We thanked him profusely along with cash and a tip and began our climb.
The first order of business was an eleven hundred foot climb on frozen ground to the top of Rocky Mountain. The trail had black ice so we were careful as we worked our way to the top. Along the way we passed two delightful young men filling their water bottles in a branch. They were super glad to be there in spite of the temperature.
No Name and Silver Bullet on top of Rocky Mountain. We pushed on and after a couple of miles we ran into my first ever Trail Magic as a hiker. So cool! Lion heart had backed his vehicle up to the trail and was ready for hikers. I’d been wanting an apple and there one was!! I also grabbed a brownie. He told us not to get cold and to move on. He knew we would freeze if we stopped. Across the dirt road Silver informed us that he had found a wind tunnel.
He was right a wicked cold wind hit us in the face as we walked up from Indian Grave Gap. Oh wow !! I just found an uneaten bagel from Holiday Inn in my jacket pocket in my sleeping bag. Normally that would be a bear concern but tonight it’s a bonus. Yum!!!!
We were booking it up Tray Mountain and along the way passed a man and woman who didn’t seem to match on the trail. They were both friendly.
At the top of Tray Mountain we stopped for a great view.
Before long we were joined by the two young men from the beginning of the hike. It turned out that they were rising Seniors at Worcester Polytechnic College and Emanuel College in Massachusetts. Brandon and Mark are both from Massachusetts.
The day was perfect for hiking and I soon found myself alone for most of it. We teamed back up for lunch at Tray Mountain Shelter but soon moved on to get to Deep Gap early enough to get camp setup before the temperature dropped.
We had multiple obstacles to tackle before we would be able to sleep tonight. I finally made it to camp and got water from the stream for supper. That out of the way I worked on Silvers damaged toe before crawling into my bag. It is supposed to be about 22 tonight. There are about twenty of us here some of whom I do not know…. Silver, No Name, Frobo are here along with a host of folks that we have met along the way. All have stories. But for me. I’m gonna stack attack this bagel. Life is good…. hike on!!