Day 5: Entering North Carolina

Saturday March 16, 16.7miles/26.9km

Dick’s Creek Gap GA (69.2) to Standing Indian Shelter NC (85.9)

We had a leisurely morning at the hotel, I woke up at 8am and went downstairs to the breakfast room. One of the perks of this hotel is the full hot breakfast that is included! Eggs, sausage, pancakes, fruit, yogurt, cereal, juice, and cinnamon rolls!

We arrange a ride back to the trailhead by calling another former AT hiker, Encourager. He picks us up at 11am and drives us the quick 20 minutes back to the trail. After we arrive, he talks about his life’s history, and he’s seen and done alot, so it’s like a TV episode, ha!

We start hiking around noon, so it looks like I will be hiking until sunset (7:45pm) to get to my planned campsite. The 4 of us start off up an easy hill, and soon come to a tree that we were warned might contain cottonmouth snakes.

It’s too cold for snakes / danger-noodles.

The trail in Georgia has been very nice, and this part is no exception. Smooth, wide trail!

I have to use the privy, and it’s still 1.5 miles away, so I hike faster. But unfortunately I also lose the group. There are views through the leafless trees most of the way.

I come around a corner, and there is a tree leaning over the trail, about 6ft up. Someone has taped a less-than-helpful note to it, “watch out for the tree”. Huh?

An hour later, I cross the state border into North Carolina! One state done, 13 states to go!

There is a trail register book near the border at Bly Gap. I love writing in these books, but this one is quite…soggy. 😦

There is a cool tree at the border too, and it sits in the middle of the trail. Apparently it’s famous. Maybe like the Wanaka lonely tree on the Te Araroa?

Right after the border, the trail immediately turns rocky. Thanks, NC.

But, at least there are great views. It’s a clear sunny day (but cold, 50F),and I can see a the way back to the lakes by the town of Hiawassee, where we stayed last night. I think it’s called Chatuge lake.

I pass by another shelter, and sign that book. This one doesn’t seem to be used very often.

At the end of the day, I enter the Nantahala Wilderness. Cool.

I get to camp at 7pm, and meet several other thrus staying in the shelter- Giggles, Duck Hunt, and Rocks. I set up my tent, it’s much warmer than a shelter, and tonight is supposed to be below freezing temperatures.

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