Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blood Mountain

Gooch Gap shelter to Neels Gap & Mountain Crossings Outfitters/hostel made for my first 16 mile day.  The mountain is one of my mini goals.  The view stunning.  The shelter harder then stone.  Due to bear activity I could not stay.  The climb was 1000 up 3 bumps and a final hump.  The decent brutal, all 1000.  Some blazes were painter on the stone itself.  The view 360 mixed with some trees.  To the southeast, I counted 8 visible ridges.  The shelter itself, historical and made of stone, very cold.
The talk of the shelter last night was either to call it a short day or go long.  4 of us went long.
Gooch shelter says it sleeps 14, that must be when it rains.  I could only figure 8 on the two levels.  The benefits of sleeping in a shelter is the fellowship of hikers, the lack of needing a tent, and a solid place.  The negatives include snoring hikers, open to the winds, and dirty.  Sure I smell but dirt is every where.  If there is a broom I try to sweep before others arrive.
At Gooch there were 25 or more renting and or in hammocks.  I left before half were up to push my day.
Here at the hostel are 15 hikers.  Stories abound.  The nights are called early often just after dark.  The nice thing is a warm shower, laundry, and a bed.  The buildings are also historical so very few improvements.  Baltimore Jack, a thru-hiker from.several years back, runs the place.
Today, I started behind a father son team and finished with a few youngin's.  One of whom I've named Butterscotch, as he often offers this candy when we crossed paths.  Gentleman Jim is here too.  Jim is a second timer, the first was in 99.  Jim is slow and steady.  I've now hike 3 days with him.and another fella who hasn't picked up a trail name yet.

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