I’ve heard this phrase “The Trail Provides” so many times already and for good reason. I can hardly believe that there is this beautifully maintained 2,200 mile trail designed just for you to get away from it all. On top that, it is surrounded by real live trail angels that are there to make your experience that much better. It’s overwhelming how kind people can be out here.
The hotel bed was comfortable but I was itching to get back to the trail. I laid in bed last night wondering what the trail conditions were like and if our trail buddies made it to the shelter they planned. Joyce picked us up right on time and we shared a shuttle with Gunnison who was cool with Chuck snuggling up to him in the back seat. As soon as we got to the trailhead we ran into Sidewinder and he found my sit pad that I left at the last shelter and hiked it out for me. I think he was just as happy to be able to do the favor that I was to get it back.
The conditions were perfect for our 14 mile hike to Deep Gap shelter. They were calling for rain but it held off and we hiked in 60 degrees with cloudy skies. We were loving the climbs out of Unicoi and didn’t make far until we ran into a guy doing trail magic with cherry pies and dog treats for Chuck.
Near the end of the hike we ran into a guy named Pop Rocks. He did the AT last year and was back out to do magic between Unicoi and Hiawassee. He was great to talk to and I soaked up his deli and ice cream recommendations farther up the trail. Apparently, parts of NY are called “Deli Blazing” because you hike between awesome delis. I can’t find a single thing wrong with that.
The rest of the hike was perfect. We felt strong and so lucky to be out here. Chuck had a blast and hiked ahead all day looking back at us to pick up the pace. When we got to Deep Gap shelter he had a big dinner and napped on the shelter porch.
The trail definitely provided today. Great conditions, shuttle rides, pies and friends.