Day 3: Mountain Crossings

March 13th

Lance Creek to Bull Gap

Miles hiked 8.5

AT mileage 32.4

Elevation chart from Guthook Guides.

Today we slept in because we were all so exhausted from yesterday. I was really slow getting ready and took my time. We hit the trail around 9am and hiked very slow. After the miles we put in yesterday it felt like we had all day long to do 8.5 miles. We took a break at Jarrard gap before we started heading up Blood mountain, the highest point on the AT in Georgia.

The climb up Blood mountain northbound on the AT wasn’t bad. Sassafras mountain which we climbed the day before was much much harder. At the top we met Dad. I was so happy to see him and that he was able to make it to the top! He was worried he wouldn’t make it up in time to see us but I know he really wanted to make it. We hung out at the top and took pictures. It was REALLY windy. The mountain reminded me a lot of Old Rag in Virginia.

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Emma and I on top of Blood mountain.

The decent down from Blood Mountain to Neels Gap was very rough. I can’t believe my dad climbed up that! It would have taken me forever if I was backpacking.

When we got to Neels Gap we stopped into the infamous Mountain Crossing outfitter/ store. They had TONS of stuff from gear to souvineers. I bought a post card and an AT patch to sew onto something. After that dad offered to take us into town to get food. I didn’t want to but everyone else in the group did so we went! I was SO glad we stopped.

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The outdoor seating area at Mountain Crossings.
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It is estimated that 20% of AT thru hikers give up at Neel’s Gap. These are the shoes that many of them hang up on the tree when they give up.

In town we went to an all you can eat pizza buffet. I had the biggest salad ever and tons of pizza. I ate enough so I didn’t need to cook dinner. I could see how easy it is to get sucked into the comforts of town and blow all my money on food and a warm bed making me not want to get back on the trail. Next we made a quick stop at CVS and Walmart. Caroline and I both found out our rain jackets are not water proof so we both bought some cheap rain coats/ ponchos from Walmart. I’m hoping to put mine over my whole pack tomorrow but we will see. Eventually we made it back to Mountain Crossings so we could continue our hike. It was one mile uphill to our campsite at Bull Gap.

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We were so hungry we could barely stop eating to take a picture at the pizza and salad buffet.
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Emma and I in our shared tent at Bull’s gap.
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Camp set up at Bull’s gap.

Tonight there wasn’t as many people at camp. We got set up and hung out bear bags PCT style for the first time. After we all got in bed, dad was searching all over for his glasses. Emma and I remembered he dropped them in the woods when we were bear hanging so we went to search for them in the dark together. He was so lucky we found them. It was funny.

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Dad and Emma setting up Dad’s tent. This is the tent I will be taking with me on my thru hike. I let dad use it for the week.
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Dad hiking up to Bull gap campsite.

The wind is very strong tonight and it is whipping straight through our tent. I have good cell service so I’m catching up with my mom and boyfriend with texts before bed. We are expecting rain all day long tomorrow.

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The group on top of Blood mountain.

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