8 pm Sunday.
As if yesterday’s hanging spot wasn’t just about perfect, I think I
did it one better. I arrived at my planned destination Woody Gap at
3:40. There was plenty of day left but I was just too sore and tired
to press on. The camp sites at woody gap are tucked away on some side
trails and unmarked. The best spot I could find was overlooking the
parking lot from a higher bluff. I was reminded that this was probably
the very spot that Certain witnessed a car heist on her 07 attempt. I
wasn’t crazy about being that close to the road so close to a town, so
I decided to go further down the trail.
….Two miles later…
Now I am on top of Big Cedar Mountain, on a rock outcropping with a vista
view facing southeast. Thanks to a mystery day hiker who clued me in
to this spot. If not for him I probably would have settled for the
viewless clearing with the scary ant hill I had just passed. Instead I
am about to see the sun set on the mountains, and will probably get a
pretty amazing daybreak as well. I angled my trarp so as not to impede
the view from the hammock.
The rest on the day was kind of dull. The scenery was “just woods” and
with the exception of some fern glades, ugly woods at that. Also some
brutal climbs and descents. The first person I saw all day was at
noon. The highlight was eating lunch soaking my feet in a stream.
Since I overclocked the miles today, I may just be able to get to my
car by lunch time. At the very least, lunch on Blood Mountain, which
is probably 45 minutes before the car. That happened last time as well
– a forced march on the second day, and a very short last day. The
thought of going into Helen for lunch is enticing.