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zachzz12

second section (25th Birthday ) 10/16

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Second trip to the trail

October 13-16 2016

Woody Gap (20.8) - Unicoi Gap (52.9)

Zach kelli zoey and Dave 4 virgin hikers

We planned to continue from Woody's gap ( where we left off after our first visit) to Unicoi Gap. This time I was able to recruit a small party of friends to join us for my birthday . There were 7 of us and one dog Zoey . we drove up late Thursday night to get to woodys gap parking spot and set up camp late ~2 am .

Next morning I scramble to get packed up and trail ready . I was picking up litter from the heavily trafficked camp sites next to the parking lot.

Dave meets us ~9am @ woodys gap and we head north. It was an immaculate beginning to our hike. The ridgeline past woodys gap made for some excellent views. however, blood mtn, in terms of grade , floored most of our party.

There was quite a few people atop blood mountain but nothing worth fussing about. we took our pictures, and soaked in the views, very cool shelter.

We made it to neels gap , with everyone intact just after it closed. We went just another mile past to get to bull gap where we would set up camp for the first night.

Here we lost our first victim to the trail. Gabe announced he was going back to neels gap in the morning to get picked up. he had an absolutely massive blister on the sole of his foot. I couldn't blame him, but we all gave him a hard time about it. Our other friend Fernando wanted to call it quits, but he would continue and make it, sedated, but made it nonetheless.

We met a guy our age / a little younger who was a sponsored trail runner with his dog blue heeler/Australian cattle dog. He hung around camp with us and told us about his sport of trail running while we could only wish we had the endurance and overall ability.

Dave agreed to take gabe back with him the next day at woodys gap then drive up to Unicoi gap where we'd meet back up with him sunday at the end of our hike.

Saturday morning Fernando was in pain and we headed up the trail . we made it to our first road of the day , tesnatee gap where kelli and Fernando would take a brake. while waiting for my dad and brother who were joining us for the last 24 hrs of hike were meeting up, while ryan matt and I continues to hike up to hogpan gap where the others could yellow blaze to meet us.

we did some mid day logistics and drove one car back to neels gap to woodys ga blah blah.... kelli and Fernando started hiking north. zane my brother had joined us this day . and ryan Fernando and I were in the back after doing these logistics we all met at low gap shelter for dinner. passed poplar stamp gap very dark, knowing we wanted to hit Unicoi gap and geton the road early sunday morning.

We woke up at 5-6am and hiked in the dark for atleast an hour and got to Unicoi gap by noon it was great.

Huge thanks to my dad for coming to Orlando to shuttle us ( he also stayed with his sister in Franklin )

I cannot wait till next time and to finish GA section
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