Appalachian Trail Section Hike - 16.7 miles
23 May to 24 May, 2020
Georgia: Dicks Creek Gap to Unicoi Gap
SOBO Hike. Three people. Me, Andy, and Elizabeth.
We positioned our vehicles at Dicks Creek and Unicoi Gap.
This was a tough hike. I believe we have gained an appreciation for hiking in Georgia. The climbs were not too bad initially. And there were plenty of views, including a nice panorama for a snack. Lunch was at Addis Gap, pictured below.
We decided to stay at Tray Mountain shelter before departing, and that is where we ended up. Exactly 11 miles on the first day.
The mountains on the AT in Georgia are higher than I expected. Our campsite was at 4,100 feet, a bonus. I prefer higher in the summer. The gaps, like Dicks Creek, are low. This translates into some legit climbing.
The toughest part of the day was the last climb. Tray Mountain. In less than 1.5 miles, we did 700 feet of climbing. Not terrible by itself, but at the end of an 11 mile day, I found it taxing considering this was my first hike of the year.
The campsite at Tray Mountain was the payoff for our efforts. A mountain view is hard to beat, and this one was great. The shelter itself was less than desirable, but a moot point. The campsite was about 50 yards before the shelter. We were lucky to arrive first. Around 12 campers in total ended up at this campsite.
Though there were more bugs than we would have liked (mostly gnats), we enjoyed a nice evening breeze with amazing views (the next morning was better - see below). I literally could not wait to have my morning coffee with the sunrise.
The second day we only had 5.7 miles to go. It did not seem like an "only" type of day. It was another challenging day. But at least we were able to enjoy coffee and breakfast with the following background.
We had two significant climbs to make on day two, and the second climb was as if the trail was telling us, "come back anytime."
It was a thousand foot climb in a little over a mile. On tired legs, not an easy one. We were all challenged. To end the hike, it was another thousand feet downhill, and steep. A different kind of challenge. As we began this last descent, Elizabeth had the quote of the weekend.
Elizabeth: "I think I'm gonna give up hiking. Andy: "oh yeah?" Elizabeth: "Yep. I'm just gonna stay home and flog myself from now on."
After the hike, Andy and Elizabeth took me to my car back at Dicks Creek Gap, and I followed them to a brew pub in Hiawassee for a cold beer and some great food.
Overall, a great hike with great company. I felt rewarded for my efforts on more than one occasion during this hike.