Day 9 – Carter Gap Shelter to Moore Creek campsite

Another day another PR 😁. A few days ago I stopped short of my plan because of incoming weather. Today everything conspired to put me further down the trail than I had initially planned, clocking in my first 17 mile day.

The morning started early again. I got dressed in my hiking clothes and got out of my hammock a little after 7. I retrieved my food bag and went to the shelter to make some coffee and have breakfast.

A little while later Bill joined me, who has been leaving the shelter I walked into to have breakfast the day before and had setup camp a bit before I got there the previous evening.

I saw another section hiker and asked him if he and his partner had stayed warm (it had been just above freezing but the wind was wicked for a time) and he told me he had to call 911 and have her evacuated off the mountain. Another victim of norovirus. So, that’s it for me staying at shelters for another 100 miles.

I left camp a bit before 9 with a goal of getting to Rock Gap by 4 to meet a shuttle I’d arranged the night before with the local Nantahala hiking club. It was just under 13 miles. Bill and I hiked together for a while then he stopped at an overlook to record a vlog.

The next few miles came easy. There was trail magic at Mooney gap – a colored hard boiled egg for early Easter and some candy and bananas. I powered up for the one major climb of the day: 400 ft of elevation gain in 0.2 miles up the side of Albert mountain. But at the top lie the tower and just beyond the 100 mile mark.

Part of the steep climb up Albert Mountain

I reached the top a little after 12. I climbed the tower but it was closed, so I took in the view the best I could. It was still pretty amazing.

View from Albert Mountain

After a 15-20 minute break I was on the trail again and found the unofficial 100 mile mark (seemed to me it was at like 100.1 but who’s counting). Bill caught up with me there and we hiked most of the rest of the way to Rock Gap within 50-100 yards of each other.

The descent off of Albert was much easier that the ascent and cruised into Rock Gap in plenty of time for our shuttle at around 3:15. And there was more trail magic! This time it was sandwiches on homemade bread and PBR!!

The trail magic setup when we reached Rock Gap
Best trail magic yet!

The shuttle arrived a little earlier and Bill and I plus Magi all piled into David’s Subaru. Bill and Magi were each getting rooms for the night. I was just looking for a resupply so I got dropped off at Ingles for a lightening shopping round while they got shuttled over to a local hotel.

I grabbed the few things I needed to make it to my next resupply at the NOC and David was just pulling up when I walked out. This Ingles didn’t have a deli so I asked if there was some where nearby in could get a sandwich for dinner. A few minutes later we were at The Lazy Hiker Brewery and a few minutes after that we were on our way, hiker burger in tow.

Hiker burger from Lazy Hiker Food truck back at Rock Gap shelter

David dropped me off back at Rock Gap and my initial plan was to hike the 1/10 mile back south to the shelter, eat my burger / drink my beer and then setup camp there for the night. The burger and beer were delicious but when in checked the time it wasn’t even 5:30 yet. I checked the map and the next camp site was 4.5 miles away. Sunset was 7:48. I had just enough time.

Waterfall on way to Moore Creek camp

On my burger / beer fueled trail legs, I made it to Moore Creek camp just after 7:30. I hung my bear bag in the fading light, setup camp and climbed into my hammock.

There are days that things will conspire to keep you from doing what you planned. Those all balance out with the days where everything goes right and you can do more. Today was one of those days.






2 responses to “Day 9 – Carter Gap Shelter to Moore Creek campsite”

  1. Matthew Swendiman Avatar
    Matthew Swendiman

    We are really enjoying your travelogue!

    1. Chris Avatar

      Thanks! Will try to keep it up as time, power and cell signal allow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *