After a half day in Hiawassee getting clean, fed & resupplied, I crossed the state line into North Carolina at Bly Gap. You can register your progress in the tree here if you have paper on you, but from the few scraps of paper I discovered, some of which were quite dated, I gathered that most, like me, weren’t willing to cart the extra weight. Bly Gap was tough. In fact, that whole day was tough. I hiked 17 miles of ups and downs (which was about 3 miles too many), then pitched my tent on a strange angle so felt like I was clinging to my thermarest all night to prevent myself from sliding down the hill. It was also incredibly beautiful and a lot of fun. And it made the next day’s 16 miles (and equally lopsided campsite) feel like a breeze (except for Albert Mtn, which was a rock scramble – very challenging with 15kg on your back! Totally worth it for the views).
After these two longish days of hiking, I had a short 7 miles in store into Winding Stair Gap & on to Franklin for a couple of zero days while I read over the proofs for the McCarthy edited collection.
Some of the place names have been a bit of a giggle:
I even found a place named for Betty: