Blood Mountain: a love story

Thinking the worst given all the reports from other hardened hikers, I was expecting to be faced with something out of a horror movie.

Taking my time to summit — and joining a new hiking friend, Scootini — it turned out to be my favorite day so far. Such a beautiful hike and the views were as breathtaking as the incline.

After reaching Neels Gap at around 3:00pm, I received a text from OB that she’d snagged the last cabin, so it was going to be a warm night on a comfy futon and cable TV. I picked up a new pocket rocket micro from the outfitters; my days of fumbling with the ti-tri caldera were over. All I want to do in the mornings and nights is to boil two cups of water, not to assemble a bloody jigsaw puzzle. Welcome to quick and no fuss boiling.

Resupplied my food bag for the next three days on the trail, and tomorrow we’re headed out to Low Gap, weather pending — it’s meant to rain pretty badly tomorrow. If it pours and is as cold as it’s forecast, it’ll a zero day.

Met Baltimore Jack, Pirate, and Red hat today — wicked! Shout out to Jack for the beers and swig of whiskey; thanks, man. It was a real privilege to meet such AT icons.

I’m feeling stronger today.

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