Friday, 8 June
|Destination: Winding Stair Gap||Today’s Miles: 15.9|
|Start Location: Carter Gap Shelter||Trip Miles: 118.0|
People continued to come into the shelter last night. A couple more girls came in and an odd young man. He had a huge backpack full of organic and natural foods. One of the guys mentioned what he had for dinner, the young man snapped “That has palm oil, they are destroying rain forests for that.” Later , Angie heard him say that he never bear bagged. She lectured him that if he did not care about his safety, that he should care about others. He decided to camp further up the trail. I think I passed his hammock about a mile north.
Up early ⏰ since I had a long day planned into Franklin, NC for a zero (rest day – no hiking) tomorrow. I was hiking before six and the morning was not too bad until I got to my namesake, Albert Mountain . The rock scramble up almost killed me. There is a fire tower you can climb but the view from down below was fog so I didn’t go up.
The last five miles or so yesterday were thru areas where there had been a forest fire in the last couple of years. Without the canopy of leaves, it was warm hiking in the sun. Fortunately, I was out of that area early this morning.
I called the hostel to arrange a shuttle. They told me to call when I got closer. On the way, I did see a covey of grouse. A mother with four or five chicks. The mother pretends she has a broken wing to draw your attention from the chicks.
The afternoon was a breeze until I got to Rock Gap. I called and arranged a shuttle in two hours. I have learned to hate the word GAP. It means you have come down the mountain and then there is only one way to go, UP. So it was up then down to Winding Stair Gap. Zen ,the hostel owner, brought me to Gooder Grove Hostel in Franklin, NC. Things are much more laid back here. There are about eight other folks here tonight, all section hikers. We had a short thunderstorm after I arrived, good timing. That’s the first rain in about a week.
A group of six hikers organized a communal vegan dinner. I chipped in and had a great meal. Arthur, hostel worker, and one of the female hikers cooked. I went back for thirds. Not a bad way to save having to walk to dinner.
Justin, the young guy I met at Top of Georgia, is here. He hiked about fifteen miles and hitched the rest of the forty miles. He still has all his issues and is zeroing here tomorrow.
I will probably be asleep early. I have a real mattress with sheets and a pillow. I do have to go for a short walk in the morning to get breakfast. Looking forward to the day off. I will have to check out the outfitter and resupply.