Appalachian Trail Day 5, Baggs Creek Gap to Hog Pen Gap

Highest Elevation – 3780, Wolf Laurel Top

Lowest Elevation – 3138, Tesnatee Gap

Mileage – 2.56

Thursday morning was our fastest morning of the entire trip.  We didn’t sleep late, we never really slept late at all on this trip.  Once the sun comes up and the birds are making tons of noise, there’s no way to sleep late.  We didn’t make anything hot for breakfast and only ate cold stuff.  I had yogurt, trail mix, and beef sticks.  The breakfast of champions!  We only had 2.5 miles to go, so we were going to drive into town and eat breakfast at a restaurant.

We started off and came to a neat view with the sun coming over the mountains.  This was the first time we had been in the right spot to see the sun come over the mountains in the morning.  I was a bit tired this morning, but still felt pretty good.  All throughout the morning I was feeling bitter sweet about the end.  I was looking forward to modern conveniences, but I had enjoyed hiking and being outside for 5 days.

We got to our last gap, Tesnatee Gap, of the hike before Hog Pen Gap where the car was.  Right away the trail started to go up and we got into switchbacks.  It seemed really steep, or maybe I was just getting really tired.  Jared also mentioned that he had put a rock in my pack.  My pack then felt extra heavy and I gave him a dirty look.  As the week had gone on, my pack was getting lighter and lighter because I was eating my food.  By Thursday it was pretty light, but this part of the trail just kept going up and up. We finally got to the top and then went down a bit before coming to a road.  We had to cross the road and walk along it to get to the parking lot where my car was.  This felt just like the Ice Age Trail!

We threw everything in the car and sat down. Boy did it feel weird to sit in a car!  We followed the road down a steep hill with curvy turns and within two minutes we passed Tesnatee Gap.  This really was annoying!  It took about half an hour to hike up that steep hill and now we just drove down it in two minutes.  You can see in the picture how much we needed to climb.   We headed into Blairsville where we had breakfast and enjoyed food made by someone else!

It was still very early in the day, and we couldn’t check into the hotel yet, so we decided to do a little extra hiking and check out some area waterfalls.  The first one we atempted to go to had some river crossings that we had to do to get there.  I don’t mean like walking over the river, the river was going across the road and I had to drive my car through it!  The brochure We had didn’t say anything about these river crossings in the directions.  The first one was scary, but I made it.  We got to the second one, and it was at the bottom of a hill and there was a turn. I did not want to keep going.  We decided to go back across the first crossing and go to a different waterfall.  

The waterfall had about a mile trail out to it with some viewing platforms.  One platform was closed because a tree had fallen on it.  The trail was pretty easy and it was a nice short hike.

Our total mileage was just under 50 miles for the 5 days on the Appalachian Trail.  I had a lot of fun and it was a lot of hard work.  We’ve already talked a bit about future hiking trails on the AT.

As I was cleaning things out at home, I found a rock in my pack.  

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