Day 5 – stealth site 1 mile south of Blue Mtn Shelter to Sasassafras Gap

Today was a good and hard day. I ended up less than a mile from my intended campsite. Still close enough for a short 6 mile hike out to the hostel but not where I had planned on when the day started.

Speaking of the day starting, I got to see my first sunrise on the trail this morning. I’ve been up early enough other days, it’s just been cloudy. It was amazing and somehow different from sunsets.

My first sunrise

I set out from camp a little after 8. By 8:30 I was walking through Blue Mountain shelter. It looked like it had been pretty full the night before – maybe 25 to 30 hikers. A few of them were on the trail when I passed through and we leap frogged each other most of the day, until they all peeled off about 5 miles before I stopped at Tray Mountain Shelter.

But a few things happened before that 😆. At the bottom of the descent from Blue Mountain lie Unicoi gap and the biggest trail magic setup I’ve seen yet. There were at least 10 different people setup with almost everything you could imagine. I had a Gatorade to start, then a sausage egg and cheese biscuit, a banana the some blueberry pancakes from Mum. I was interviewed by someone for their YouTube channel so if you see me on hiker YT, drop a link in the comments below. I managed my time a little better at this trail magic and was off in a little under an hour.

The biggest trail magic setup yet at Unicoi gap

I went up and over Rocky Mountain fueled by all the trail magic. I might have gotten a little full of myself at this point since I decided to setup my hammock and take a nap. It was amazing. And it’s 45 mins I could have used to get to Addi’s.

A mid day nap at Indian Grave Gap

Tray mountain was up next and it was no joke. I hiked the base of it with Cool Breeze (hiker from Scotland wearing a kilt in his family tartan) and Bard (who was carrying a lone banana in his bear can and a 4lb trumpet in his backpack) and one other hiker who’s trail name I can’t recall.

No one told me to worry about Shai-Hulud!

I made it to the top of Tray by about 3:15 with still another 5-6 miles to go. The downhills were tougher than the uphills today so the going was slow. I made the call to bail out at sassafras around 5. There are 3 other through hikers camped here tonight and 2 of them are also going to Hiawasse tomorrow.

63 miles in and still getting my legs. Still figuring out timing.

Tonight’s camping spot at sassafras gap






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