Friday, August 9, 2013
Start: Payne Gap | Finish: Bryson Gap | Miles: 14.7 | Total: 275.2
Not much to say. Good day, good hike, good weather. Bumped in to a day hiker Michael just before lunch. Bryson Gap is pleasant. There is a narrow side trail to another couple of camp sites by a creek – they feel like “rooms” in the woods, where the site on the trail feels like a “hallway”
Crossing Highway 60 near Suches, I looked for the boxed spring that I could NOT find in 2011… and there it was. Not hard to find at all. How does that work? (Remind myself to mention this spring to Rock – it’s in the guide I was using in 2011, but not in Rock’s guide. Also some additional camp sites between Toccoa bridge and Bryson gap. To make up for all the whining when I couldn’t find a suitable camp site or water, Peels Gap to Unicoi Gap, haha)
Today featured the crossing of the Toccoa River on the suspension bridge. A very aesthetically pleasing feat of engineering in the middle of the wilderness – heavy timber and steel cable. Also a nice river. I did not feel the need to document this in photos, though. I got plenty of pictures of them in 2011, I thought to myself. And it’s cloudy. Or, my presence of mind is slipping.
I’m exhausted. Moderate climbs feel like mountains. My hunger is finally catching up with the calories burned. I’ll be very close to out of food after tonight, so I almost have to get that ride from Springer. On a long hike with town resupplies, such as the AT, this would be the time you simply ramp up the amount of groceries you buy. On a planned trip like this it’s hard to guess when the appetite will kick in. On all my past hikes, even my 1 week long one, I packed almost 2x too much food. This time I cut it close. Some items I threw out after the first few days, when it became apparent that they were superfluous – the pinole and the instant mashed sweet potatoes. We dubbed the sweet potatoes “baby vomit” right off the bat. Plain potatoes would have been just fine, more versatile, and I sure could use the calories and carbs now. I say carbs because I have been catching the occasional whiff of ammonia from myself today, which I think means I am in ketosis.
I can tell I’ve lost weight by the waistband of my shorts, the way my face looks in my photos, and the fact that I can feel my tailbone when I sit down. At lunch I sat on a semi-inflated Platypus – very comfortable – wish I’d thought of that earlier. Dinner was one of the best most memorable – a mashup of a full serving of my homemade paleo chili, over a full serving of Ramen noodles.