Day 5 – Neel Gap to Blue Mt Shelter

18.8 miles, 49,545, 471 stories climbed

59.3 miles, 172,406 steps, 1544 stories

Trail Magic Moments: 3

Today was a good day (cue Ice Cube song). 

I was up early and started hiking right away. A little cold at the beginning but nothing like the other night, and it warmed up nicely and I was finally able to hike in the sun! Other than some muddy and rocky spots it was a great day for hiking.

With the lighter pack, extra rest and nice weather, I was able to push through to almost 19 miles and still be finished by 4:30. There were a couple of pretty cool stops with breathtaking views and met fascinating people,  but the best stop was with Hermes.

Hermes hiked half the trail in 2013 and the other half last year. I met him today as he was relaxing in a hammock, waiting for hikers with donuts, jolly ranchers, and Dr. Peppers. It was a much welcomed pick me up for those last 2 miles of the day. Which always seem the longest, no matter how many miles you hike that day. 

He told me about how one night he was hiking and it was extremely cold. When he got to the shelter he found a bunch of abandoned gear and there was a message in the trail log that read “This thru-hiker is through!” The thru-hiker had left behind an emergency blanket which saved his life that night.  It’s amazing the people you meet, and the stories they carry with them. 

Tomorrow will be another long day with mostly mountainous terrain  but Failure, Sycamore, Not Yet, and I plan on treating ourselves in town and split a hotel room (Baaallleers!).  I’m really looking forward to a shower, real food, a bed, and wifi so I can talk to my woman. This hike has been amazing so far, but it would be 10000000000000000 times better if Maria were here.  Can someone please convince her to just join me?

Also, I have been reading some of your messages and I don’t get to respond because service is so spotty, I just want to thank everyone. I really appreciate the kind words. 



9 thoughts on “Day 5 – Neel Gap to Blue Mt Shelter

  1. I’m glad you had a good day. It’s hard for a mom to read that her child is cold when going to bed in a nice warm bed. Love you and can’t wait til you get back. ❤

  2. Be careful and stay warm. Remember, if you ever see a bear, it’s not the bear you have to out run 😉

    Another funny to make you smirk or even smile!

    An orienteer was running along one day when he came to the narrowest part of the River Severn in England. Seeing another orienteer on the other bank, he called out, ‘Hey, how do I get to the other side?’

    The other orienteer, who incidentally came from Wales, looked carefully along the bank to the left, then carefully along the bank to the right, thought a bit, then called back, ‘You are on the other side.

  3. Maria, I’ve been assigned the task of convincing you to join Jason on his hike. I’m sorry, I don’t ask for this job, but now I have it, so please be patient with me. And then join Jason. I can tell you, from personal experience, which gives me excellent hindsight (20/20!) that it will be worth it. I quit my job and took a trip, traveling completely around the world with my older brother, and I would not trade that adventure for anything!

    1. Wow Jamin, That’s amazing!!!! I am thinking about joining him towards the end. I really want to get more clinical hours before I quit and go on the Pan American adventure. But man, am I tempted!!!

  4. Will you be coming through Erwin TN? We get tons of hikers there, and in the manager of their Wal-Mart. Come see me, I’ll get you some food! 🙂

    1. crystal, that’s sooo kind of you! It’ll be a while before I make it there, but I’ll let you know when I get closer. Thank you. I’m really taken back by your kindness!

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