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[at-l] Section 1B Fiasco Report

Part 1: Thursday:
The Plan: Meet Cricket in Ellijay about 3PM, get BBQ dinner, drop her
car at Springer Paking lot, drop water at Cooper Gap and drive along
FS42 to Suches and to Goose Creek Camp.

Reality: Rain and traffic conspire to make this later, like 4PM with a
desire to get up the hill before the next monsoon and dark. We
successfully find FS42 and drive past the parking lot (a whole lot of
stuff grew up since I was last there) and fail to realize our situation
until Hightower Gap. Backtrack in the monsoon while Cricket learns that
locals don't know Jack about Springer Mt. After showing them the lot,
back track in the rain, fog and dark to Cooper Gap, and down to Suches.
By 8:15 we get to Goose Creek, while brave Vanessa silently gets car
sick in the back seat of the Skank Mobile - dooming her to a hike
ending migraine. We check in and head to Blairsville for chow, and
stayed up to 12:30 tuckerizing Judy of Illinois.

Part 2 Friday:
The plan: Drop Skank Mobile at Dicks Creek Gap, get to
Walasi-Yi by 10, handshake at noon, and start walking to either Whitley
Gap shelter or Low Gap Shelter for steak and wine.

Reality: Leisurely breakfast in Blairsville at the Hole in the Wall,
get surprise call on my c*** p**** from Shirley that she will join us
at Neels Gap to head south. Return to GC, Vanessa is deathly ill with
migraine and Cricket arranges hospice care in a cheaper, larger and
better equipped trailer. Dumped the Skank at DCG, got back to NG at
11:50, and shopping started. The rain had been off and on, but I
suspected the low center was drifting south and west, and all would be
dry. Plus, I had my daughter's REI Anoriak that looked like lightweight
rain gear, and it is summer. Right? The ladies shop reconsider hiking
plans, but by Noon central time, we shake and are off!

I'll send the details on water and campsites later. The word is, if you
see water moving - grab it fast. The only water between NG and
Testnatee was a puddle. Baggs creek was totally dry. The weather was
definitely wet. The anoriak is a sieve. I chatted about 5:30 with
bikers and biker babe at TG, watched them up the hill and trudged along
the white blazed path over an incredibly steep hill. Then down and down
an incredibly long trail to the Whitley Gap Shelter with good water by
6:45. Ate my food, cleared an area for myself to sleep, and was
awakened at 10PM by Kye. This is local kid who decided to take his
Marlboro backpack and sleeping bag to try the trail, along with
aceylene torch stove and another 70 pounds of equipment. He scared off
the mice approaching me in the dark.

Part 3 Saturday:
The Plan: Summit Tray Mt by 5PM and Tray Shelter by 6PM,
with Blue Mt Shelter as a fall back. Listen to Clemson v Citadel on the
radio, and celebrate with shrimp, mushroom and tomato rice dinner.

The reality: Awaken to even more rain and cold. Feel considerably not
good. The kid leaves camp before me, and I wind up violating several
LNT rules as GI events accompany me up and up the long trail back to
the AT and down to Hogpen Gap. Coosa left me lots of water! If I had
simply yellow blazed, I'd have been another 4 miles along! Plus the
spring is running at HPG! The kid decides to bale out and review his
gear at the local Walmart, feeling that Walasi-Yi was expensive. I meet
and pass (for the only time) a NOBO barefoot hiker, Rich of Iowa, who
claims 0.9 mph on good trail. GI events continue and I begin to feel
quite fatigued and sleepy. By 1PM I make Low Gap Shelter - no privy
(believe me), no register, great bear bag cables, good water. By 2:15 I
make it to Poplar Stamp Gap and set up tent and sleep until hikers
noisily pass me and comment on my pretty blue Nomad. 

I break camp,follow after a bit, and make it to Chattahoochee Gap and
good c*** p**** coverage. I call Mrs. Bug and friends that I will need
a ride tomorrow. Can't eat. Radio is stupid Dawgs v Peons. Sleep
fitfully with scattered rain continuing. Nice campsite where trail was
re-routed around a blow down.

Part 4 Sunday:
The Plan: Through the Blue Ridge Swag, over Kelly Knob, into the Deep
Gap Shelter and solve the little animosity between Palestinians and
Jews as well as the Irish squabble. If light allows, complete the
finishing touches on the Unified Field Theory of Relativity, Gravity
and Why the Universe Works. 

Reality: By 11:30 I got down to Unicoi Gap with not another hill left
in me (and very little 'soil' I might add). No privy at Blue Mt Shelter
either! Very little water ever encountered, solely a puddle maker south
of the shelter. My friends came after learning that Unicoi Gap is not
in the Unicoi State Park. I left at note for Uncle Milt that I would
meet him Monday for the shake and to help him to his car. I learned
Monday that he had baled also, but went back to his car and picked by
David (Who Hath No Trailname) at NOC. 

So that was how my HATT went. I think the cyber hikers had more fun!
Fotos to follow, but will be censored of all of the offensive stuff.


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