Day 8 – Dick’s Creek Gap to Standing Indian Shelter
16.7 miles, 49,264 steps, 620 stories climbed
95.1 miles, 279,827 steps, 2712 stories climbed
Today ended up being a pretty long day. We left the hotel around 9am, a bit late for us and were taken back to Dick’s Creek Gap by Joyce. She runs a cheap shuttle for hikers from town to the AT. She complained about how the town isn’t really set up to meet our needs with proper hiking supplies and she really loves the hiker community and the people she gets to meet while running the shuttle.
We get back to the trail and get started walking. As you can see from the number of stairs above, there was a lot of climbing. We were concerned about the weather, a rain-filled forecast through Saturday, but today was almost perfect for hiking. It was never too cold or too warm and it barely rained. At times the fog was very dense but otherwise, just a great day for hiking.
I spent most of the day hiking with Not Yet. We talked about old school hip-hop and he laughed as I told him the story of the time Maria and our dear friend Liz went to n ugly sweater Salt-n-Peppa concert and I ended up being brought on stage with Peppa as they performed Whatta Man. I’m sure if you ask Maria, she will post the video on Facebook.
This lead us into a discussion about meeting famous people which ended up leading to a rather incredible and emotional day that I was a part of.
I started telling him about how, because of my old job, I was actually a part of the September 11th Memorial in NYC, and because I was the lead technician on the communications system, I had the privilege of being there when they opened the memorial up to the family members of those lost. I met some singers and such but I also met some Medal of Honor winners as well. The emotion of that day, watching as families searched for the name(s) of those they lost. Seeing lipstick next to names, children doing rubbings of the names and lots of tears and sadness everywhere. It was gut-wrenching.
I told him about how in the meetings before the actual day, a huge concern, besides another attack of course, was that loved ones might actually try and jump over the falls to try and be with their loved ones again. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but it was a very sobering thought.
This of course lead to a discussion of where we were when it happened. I was actually in the military and stationed in San Diego at the time. I remember walking to the room of the person I was dating and had no words. I simply hugged her for a while and she has no idea why, but knew something was wrong. I just turned on the TV for her. Then I frantically started calling my family to make sure everyone was alright. Everyone was fine.
We continued to talk about much lighter topics after that, as those memories are draining. We talked about favorite TV shows both now and as kids, as well as what we want to do when we finally get to see our significant others. We both can’t wait to see them and miss them like crazy. I think just talking about them makes us happier. It really made the time go faster.
Midway through our hike we hit a major milestone as we crossed the border from Georgia and entered North Carolina. 1 state down and 13 to go!
When we got to the shelter we took a little side trail that Failure recommended to us. It has an old plane wreckage, but no details about it, and it had a cliff with a beautiful view of the valley. I wish I could upload more pictures for you guys!
The weather was good and we decided to push in another 5 miles to the next shelter so we can take a shorter day when the weather is crappy.
We made it to the shelter with just enough time to eat and set up our tents before the sun set. It was a tough day but a good day nevertheless. Now, I will just read for a bit, and go to sleep! Good night everyone!
We are Maria and Jason. Two crazy 30 somethings from New York City who decided to trade in our metro cards for a young-at-heart cargo van. Retired from being a phone company's service vehicle, Houdini, is has transformed into our home on wheels and is taking us all the way to the southern most tip of South America.
Follow along on our adventures.
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