Day 5

Blue Mountain shelter to Sassafras Gap campsite (12.8 miles)

So apparently I was on crack or yerba mate or whatever when I made up this schedule of where I thought I’d be, in order to coordinate mail drops.  The schedule for today I’d made had me hiking ALL of Blue Mountain (luckily I’d gone past that plan and started from the summit), then Rocky Mountain (a steep up and down) and Trey Mountain (another steep up and down), then some squiggly terrain that didn’t look too bad, another mountain, and a smallish mountain, to get to Hiawassee.  I actually felt pretty good though, making really nice time down Blue, up and down Rocky, and then up Trey, from about 8:30-1:30.  Then just after the summit of Trey I totally sagged.  I took a bit of a lunch break but was feeling sort of weak, no pain or anything, but just slow.  The terrain flattened out a bit and I made some miles but by 3p I was feeling pretty beat again.  I managed to get roaming reception on my phone with the last of battery and called the hotel to change my reservation for tomorrow.   I think the sun was also just beating on me through the trees, mostly oaks and beeches without foliage yet.  I finally got out my visor.

I made it another hour to the “Swag of the Blue Ridge”- which although it looks like a mostly harmless squiggly line on the elevation chart in my guidebook, actually is a more tough up and down and up and down trudge.  I sat down at the little campsite there and took some time for a protein bar and to air my feet out, and talk to the two guys camped there that were doing a section hike.  They said a campsite was a mile ahead “all downhill” with a water source close by.  Actually, said campsite was pretty much uphill except the last 5-10 minutes, really brutal for me.  Coral stopped by when I was there and wanted to head on PAST the Hiawassee hitch, to a campsite around mile 70, where she was hoping to meet up with Chelsea (sp?), a PCT thru hiker who was hoping to do the AT in under 100 days.  I had passed Chelsea the day before at Hogsback Gap and hadn’t seen her since, not even at the campsite, so was dubious to whether or not they would meet.  Anyway, I was set- I was just beat.  I went to bed pretty early and it was a mostly comfortable night, though at maybe 3-4 am the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped 10-20 degrees I think.  Still not as cold as at Bull’s Gap.

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