March 14, 2000

Hogpen Gap, ga 12 Miles Hiked Today 37 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Deer near Blood MountainGot up and hiked up and down.  My knees are killing me (a lifelong ailment) and the insides of my thighs are raw and hairless from rubbing against my pants and shorts. Ouch.

Saw some deer coming off blood mountain. They were right on the trail and moved aside. Last night some beast was rummaging near my campsite, but I scared it away by clapping. Never saw it.

Backpackers resupply at Neels GapNeels Gap was an unexpected surprise. They had phones (called Whitney) and plenty of snacks. A thru-hiker who was picking up provisions gave me a huge chocolate chip cookie (7 inches across!). Others were also snacking and supplying.

This afternoon I covered about 7 miles. It was a beating going up and down the last mountain, but I didn't want to stay at the crowed shelter. Met Doc Vapor today. He had section hiked 200 miles from '91-'94 and then did the last 1900 in '95. Now he is doing it all. He said it is worth it. Tonight, at camp, I met Gypsy and King Hobo. They are in their 60's, and retired and taking it slow (7 miles/day). I helped King Hobo get his food bag rope thrown into the tree and he offered to let me use it.

View from Cowrock MountainAnother thing I realized is a goal already accomplished is the fact that I came. Just planning and learning, saying goodbye, leaving work, etc. have been done. Now I know I can do it.

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