View Full Version : Dicks Creek through The NOC

03-03-2014, 22:57
The Appalachian Trail 2014

Tim and Dan hike 67 miles from Dicks Creek Gap, GA through The Nantahala Outdoor Center, NC
also known as The NOC. Original Plan 16.7, 17 something, 14, 11, 5 mile days. Total of 4 1|2 days.
Pack weight, Dan 32 pounds and myself 36 pounds.

Well I have been wanting to do a power hike to cover some miles and see how tough or difficult it would be. So I planned a hiking trip consisting 2 hikers, 67 miles in 4 1\2 days. Well the first day went as planned....we drove through the night and arrived at ending destination, where the shuttle picks us up around 3 AM. The shuttle then took us to the starting point. We actually started hiking at 5:20 AM in the dark. It was below freezing but very nice after you get going. Hiking a total of 16.7 miles the first day and arriving at Standing Indian Shelter around 2:28. Leaving plenty of time to kill, we made a fire and set up for the nite. The next morning we woke up it got down to at least 13 degrees and all of our water was frozen. A side note....15 degree sleeping bags.....that would be survival 15 degrees. Technically only good for like 25 degrees for comfort. So we started hiking and my partner Dan decided that he was board getting to camp so early....so we changed the original plan. The second day instead of hiking 17 miles we totaled up 19.7 miles. We made it to Rock Gap Shelter around 5 PM and looked for a tent site....all down hill. Other hikers used up the tent spots. So we stayed in the shelter again. Well there was a hiker in there that snores like a freight train. Then there were two Aussies, one with trail name Vegemite, cool guys. I woke up the next morning and my partner had already left.....haha

So for the next 3 miles I was playing catch up. He said it was to cold to lay around. He was right...every night was in the 20's after the first night. Third day we totaled 18.7 miles by about 4:48 PM. Stopping right before the bottom of the valley in Burningtown Gap. That night Dan was in bed before dark. First night we used our tent. Also made a fire and I warmed up by the fire and called home. That night we heard a Coyote not to far away. Second time on this trip. Well I went to bed around 7 PM. Some context here, Dan didn't sleep very much on this trip. Very cold and he wasn't comfortable. The tent however adds about 10 degrees warmth. Knowing he wasn't sleeping very well. I heard him stirring and asked the time.....5:11. So I said you wanna get going? He said, heck yeh. So we popped up and he started chuckling. “It snowed last nite”, I said what! Opened up the tent, sure enough. So we packed up quickly to gain some body heat. Started hiking in the snow with our head lights. Probably my favorite part of the trip. It got prettier as the sun came up. We made this our last day, totaling 13 miles. The last 4 miles were probably the most brutal part of the trip. All down hill....as in some climbing down rocks, switch backs and steep steps. My feet are somewhat bruised from it. It lasted for ever it seemed. The views where insanely beautiful.
So we cut off a day of hiking over all, we got home a day early. Total of 3 1\2 days of hiking 67 miles.
We averaged about 2 miles per hour, including our many breaks. I now know that 14 to 15 mile days at a little slower pace are easily accomplished. Leaving plenty of time to enjoy everything.

03-04-2014, 12:57
Thanks for sharing! This is a big part of the summer section I have planned for this year. Your experience aids in my planning. :)

03-04-2014, 14:53
Thanks for the report. Planning to hike that section next month. NOC being at the end of the section makes all the downhill the last day a little easier to handle.

03-04-2014, 16:40
That's such a great section. Ending at the NOC is a nice way to finish a hike. :)

03-04-2014, 19:55
Thanks for the report. Planning to hike that section next month. NOC being at the end of the section makes all the downhill the last day a little easier to handle.
...I guess downhill is good for you....it's brutal on me. I don't enjoy the pounding down hill...give me the ups...lol

03-10-2014, 19:37
Tim! Thanks for sharing your trip. I have to get back out there... soon! That section is a real nice test. See you in the store. Oh, this is Crossroads by the way.

03-15-2014, 06:25
What's up Crossroads. Sorry I've been extremely busy. Keep me posted when you take off again.