Thursday, September 29, 2016
Start: Hughes Gap/TN 1330
End: US 19E/Mountain Harbour hiker hostel
This morning, Mike dropped me off to Hughes Gap (4040′) around 7:30am. I started up the trail and climbed up to Toll House Gap (6212′) and walked past the side trail for Roan High Knob Shelter (6193′). From there, I went down to Carvers Gap/TN 143/NC 261 (5512′). I made amazing time and arrived around 10:15am. I tried to call Towanda to let her know I was there early but I couldn’t get enough service to call so I waited until she arrived at 10:45am.
We started up the trail by ~11:15am. We climbed Round Bald (5813′) and Jane Bald (5790′) and then descended past Stan Murray and Overmountain Shelters (5045′ & 4657′). From there, we climbed up Little Hump Mountain (5459′), down to Bradley Gap (4950′), and then up to Hump Mountain (5587′). On our way up Hump Mountain, we had a little bit of rain and a lot of fog and wind. After we summitted and started to go down, the wind blew the storm away and gave us some nice views. We then proceeded to race the storm to the hostel. We descended past Doll Flats and the NC/TN border (4600′), and down to US 19E (2895′). From there, we walked the 0.3 miles to the hostel, arriving at 6pm.
We snagged 2 of the remaining 3 hostel spaces. Towanda managed to convince someone at the hostel to drive us into town to get pizza, and let everyone order something if they wanted to. I took care of the money details and figuring out who owed how much. I was able to shower and do a load of laundry. I checked on my food supply and I have enough to get me to Damascus, provided I either get some snacks for the last day at a campground on my last night before town or pay a hostel in town to bring me to town a day early and then slackpack me. We shall see how I feel! Currently have lovely weather outlooks and I’m feeling pretty solid. Towanda will hike with me for a few miles in the morning tomorrow before heading back to US 19E to get a ride back to her car at Carver Gap.