AT Thru-Hike Day 30

Allen Gap (2,226 feet) mile 289.7 to Devils Fork Gap (3,102 feet) mile 311.1 for a 21.4 mile day. We ascended 5,023 feet and descended 4,336 feet.

This has been our longest day so far, even though we did it slack pack, we still walked 21.4 miles, it was still tough, and we were still beat when it was done! Slack pack is a term used when you are not carrying the full burden of your pack, basically you carry as little as possible because you are dropped off and picked up the same day. Since Kelly has family near by, they have offered to slack pack us and feed us on the daily, who would turn that offer down?

We set out on this bright and sunny day reminded that it was Mother’s Day, and pushing for a long day and crossing the 300 mile mark. I lost my mom to cancer September 6, 2012, and I am very thankful for the life that she lived, and all of the wonderful times I had with her. Mother’s Day’s aren’t the same anymore, for me at least. It’s not a time of sadness, it’s not of a time for remembering her life and the life of the other wonderful moms in my life.

We had hiked a little over a mile on this Mother’s Day before we came to some trail magic. This was the first trail magic we had had in quite some time! It was fruit, candy, chips, drinks, donuts, and some other pastries.

We sat and chatted with Mickey and Minnie, the trail angels, for about 30 minutes or so while we enjoyed our bounty. Mickey and Minnie met and started dating, Mickey said he wanted to Thru-hike the AT, Minnie, said okay, let’s go, and now they are married, and they did complete their Thru-hike, SOBO! Then, we were off to conquer this long day and the scenery that was to come. Seven miles up hill to start the day, along the way, about four miles in, we stopped at Little Laurel Shelter (3,360 feet) to rest for a few minutes and get a drink of water! Shelter stops are normally a good time to catch up with other hikers who we may or may not know.

Continuing on, about 6 miles, we came to the 300 mile mark, but first there was the beautiful and rugged rocky ridge section leading to the 300 mile mark. Master trail builder Howard McDonald, thought it would be possible to move the AT from a point on the lower side of the mountain to the absolute top of the ridge line. Because of the exposure on the 4,500 + foot ridge, they left the old trail as a bad weather alternative to escape the wind and slick rocks the rain would create.

This was not an easy task, it took them 5 years to create this 1.4 mile section of trail, moving huge rocks here and there to create more noticeable path for the hiker. The views this created in the process are spectacular!

Just as the bad weather trail and the exposed ridgeline trail join back together we came to the 300 mile mark!!

300 miles!!!!

Blasting past the 300 mile mark, we climbed Big Butt at 4,809 miles. This was the rockiest big butt I’ve every seen, I’m not going to lie!

From here we continued down hil to meet up with Kelly’s husband, James at Devils Fork Gap.

Devils Fork Gap

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