BMT Day 20 – Bryson Gap

Friday, August 9,  2013
StartPayne Gap   |  Finish: Bryson Gap   |  Miles: 14.7  |  Total: 275.2

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Michael

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”

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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.

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I’m on a bridge!

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.

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