AT Thru-Hike Day 35

Iron Mountain Gap (3,703 feet) mile 364.5 to Carvers Gap (5,506 feet) mile 380.5 for a 16 mile day!

The first 10 miles of the day were a fairly easy day, there was not much climbing and not much descending compared to the 375 miles previous, but it was still a tough hike and a great day as a whole.

Today was the first day in quite some time that we have seen full trail maintenance crews doing their thing along the trail.

I think some of the reason for this is that the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has lifted the COVID-19 work ban as well as restarted the tag program and the 2000 miler program. The tag program is basically a program that distributed tags to Thru-hikers to show that they are Thru-hikers for the current year. Because of COVID restrictions on trail they have refused to issue tags. The 2,000 miler program is a program to recognize folks who have hiked 2,000 miles in a year, basically acknowledging the AT Thru-hike. We will not qualify for the program since we will have hiked less than 2,000 miles since the date they started the program back, May 11, 2021. It sucks, but I don’t need their recognition to say that I hiked the whole trail, in the end, I and all who have followed my blog and my social media will know that I did the whole trail!

We continued on with our hike and made it to Hughes Gap Road (4,084 feet) mile 374.1, where we walked up to trail magic! It was great to sit for a spell and chat with a few AT FlipFlop Hikers class of 2019.

We started up the big climb to the old Cloudland Hotel site and on the way, we ran into a lady carrying a sack of plants. She had walked up the mountain to pick some Ramps, a flowering species of flowering onion widespread across the eastern United States.

We continued the climb up which got steeper and steeper as we went. We stopped for a short lunch break with an amazing view.

And then started tramping through another 6,000 foot plus spruce pine forest, which was dark, rocky and smelled amazing!!

Continuing our climb, we came to the old Cloudland Hotel site. I won’t go into much detail about it, but, it was built in 1884 and was opened for 20 years before being dismantled. It was a three story resort that catered to pleasure seekers and those suffering from Hay Fever. Weird, but okay.

Another mile and we made it to the end of this hike at Carvers Gap, where Suzanna was waiting for me after coming straight up after work. Kelly thought the stark contrast of Suzanna and I deserved a photo! Haha

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