BMT Day 14 – Reliance

Saturday, August 3,  2013
StartCoker Creek  |  Finish: Reliance, TN  |  Miles: 11.1  |  Total: 177.6

Today was short and sweet.  I gave myself an extra hour this morning.  It was “only ” to be a 10.6 mile day, with resupply and a store at the end.  So I left camp shortly before 9 AM.  The trail was pretty good all day.  Ever since Unicoi Gap, and the John Muir Trail, it has been a good balance of challenging, scenic, and not overgrown.  The one thing that baffled me is how the “wild and scenic” Hiwassee River, though the same size on the map, goes from a stagnant creek above the power station to a huge wide strong & fast river downstream of it.  The trail bypasses the bend where the powerstation is (contrary to the map) so I did not get to see what happens.  I’ll have to google it later.*

The last 4 miles were mostly flat, which can be rough on the feet.  I think that, except for hard climbing, too much of any one terrain is hard on the feet.  The John Muir Trail follows the river at almost water level, followed by a 1 mile road walk in to Reliance.  It’s a Saturday, so this tiny town is PACKED with river tourists.

I picked up my resupply box at Webb Brothers Float Service, replaced the lunches with store bought stuff – Vienna sausage, granola, Payday bars.  Going through my resupply box, I realized one map was missing!  I have hiked this section before – the home stretch from Blue Ridge / Aska Road to Springer or Amicalola –  but would hate to have to rely on my memory.  Also, it might be considered reckless.  Or at least nerve racking.  I gotta have my maps.

My phone has been dead since last night, so I decided to stay in Reliance with the chance that I could find a way to charge it (success!) and call Aimee (fail! – no signal)  I bought a camp site for a rip-off rate of $32 (weekend minimum rate BS).  So I will be surrounded by kayak dude-bros and family weekend campers.  You have your Subaru-neoprene-and-Yuengling crowd, and your pickup truck and Bud Light crowd.  Both contingents are playing cornhole.

Aside – Cornhole?  It seems like such a “traditional” game that must have been around for ever.  Yet it’s seemingly brand new, and it’s everywhere.  I am not buying the Wikipedia assertion that it’s been around since the 14th century, was played by native Americans, etc.  I’ve been to a few church picnics, backyard barbecues and 4ths of Julies, from Texas to Tennessee over the past 40 years (granted, not a lot of tailgating…) , and have not seen or heard of this until the 21st century.


I have been sitting on the deck at Hiwassee River outfitter, pirating electricity from their landscape lighting outlet, and journaling.  My charge cord is frayed and on it’s last leg, too.  Not sure what to do about the maps.  Or about getting the info to Aimee.  The map is probably on my office floor.   She could mail it to me at Iron Bridge.

24 hours ago I was fantacizing that I could wash my clothes in a sink, take a shower, call home, etc.  Little did I know the “bath house” is disgusting – Turkish prison disgusting.  The camp site is screaming babies and whimpering dogs.  Maybe I should have kept hiking.



* The river does in fact simply get wider.

Note to self: Salami & cheese only good for about 1 week, then it starts to turn.  I kind of figured this, but wanted to test the limit. And was being lazy in my prep.  Should have mixed up my lunches a bit more.  Moose Goo and tortillas would have been a good choice.  The sample batch of pemmican that I made actually kept in the hot trunk of my car for the full 3 weeks, even though it has cheese in it as well.  I waited till the last minute to try the pemmican, so did not have enough time to make a decent sized batch, in the end.  I’ll post the recipe later.


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