I was 11 miles from Dicks Creek Gap, the point where I could get into Hiawassee to resupply, and I banged them out. Longest mileage to date, and I was hustling in the afternoon to get to the gap before dark. Found no cell service to call for a shuttle, so I hitched a ride. The young man drove me right to the motel and wouldn't accept gas money.
Took my first shower in too many days! Also found my first blister on my small toe, and figured I had found my blistering pace.
I went to an all you can eat Chinese place, and put a dent in that buffet. Then to an Ingles supermarket, (a Fresh Food franchise), and bought way too much food. Took it back to my room repackaged it for the trail, and passed out.
The next morning I took my smelly hiking clothes to a laundromat, ate a big breakfast of eggs, grits, and bacon with biscuits and gravy. Checked out of the motel and hitched a ride back to the gap. By 1:00 I was on the trail with the goal of doing 9 miles to the GA/NC border.
Had to hustle to get to the border before sunset, and I set up camp next to the spring at Bly Gap.11 miles in, 9 miles out, not bad for a town visit day, eh?
I decided since I was on a roll, to hike 12 miles to Beech Gap where there is good camping and water. The profile looked pretty easy. It hit the highest elevation to date at Standing Indian Mountain, but the approach and descent both looked easy. ...
It started to rain that afternoon during the descent, so I hustled a bit more than I should have to get to camp and into dry clothes. Two more blisters ...
I'm beginning to understand why Pirate told us "Never hike after 2:00"