Day 3 – Lance Creek to Bags Creek Gap

So after getting all worked up about “the first real climb nobos face” (aka Blood Mountain), it turned out to be the best part of the hike so far. There were at least 20 other through hikers that stayed at Lance Creek last night (it’s the last spot you can camp without a bear can until after Neels Gap) so we all got up, ate breakfast and broke camp together.

The climb up Blood was continuous but never really strenuous. Sassafras seemed much harder just a few days earlier. Maybe I’m getting my trail legs early? That would make sense since I am definitely getting my hiker hunger earlier than normal. I’ve woken up every night and been just the slightest bit hungry at some point, even though I’ve been eating like it’s a job.

Blood mountain shelter

At the top of the climb, I hiked with another through hiker I had met the night before and near the top Anakin (hope that’s his trail name 😝) passed us since his dad was waiting for him with a bagel. He also had some coffee in a thermos and was kind enough to share the leftovers.

The hike down the mountain was also pretty pleasant. Perhaps that was due partly to the fact that I knew there was pizza at mountain crossings. I ordered a pepperoni and grabbed a coke, got the drop box I had left there a few days before and found a plug to charge my phone and battery from.

The famous Orange Cat of Mountain Crossings

The pizza came out about 15 mins later and I ate it. All of it. Did I mention early onset hiker hunger?

I ended up staying for almost two hours at Mountain Crossings. I told myself it was to give time to let everything charge, but a small part of it was also a small pull of “the vortex” (hiker slang for as far as I can tell town stuff that can pull you off trail). It was so nice to sit in the sun on a deck and talk to other hikers and eat pizza. Why would I want to go climb more hills? I realized that there will always be that temptation – to stay off trail “just a little while longer”.

At last, I finally did leave and hiked the last 4-5 miles of the day to Baggs Creek Gap. With my resupply my pack was noticeably heavier. I should have gone through the resupply box a little more carefully. Something tells me I’m going to have a lot of food still left in a few days. It’s supposed to be a cold one tonight so the only warm place to be is on my hammock. Hiker midnight coming early today.

Home sweet home for tonight

I’ve got two 13 – 14 mile days planned then a nero of only 6. Have a hostel reservation on Thursday since I’ll need to resupply anyway …and I want to catch the Cats opening round game in March Madness. Hopefully I’ll find the strength to get back on the trail after a night indoors 😊.






7 responses to “Day 3 – Lance Creek to Bags Creek Gap”

  1. Mary Ann Weiss Avatar
    Mary Ann Weiss

    I’m loving reading your blog— go Chris!

  2. Shawn Upchurch Avatar
    Shawn Upchurch

    I am so much enjoying your updates. It’s making me consider much more seriously how to join you for a few days.

  3. Deborah Timmers Avatar
    Deborah Timmers

    Be safe, I will be following your journey , I loved the Orange Cat of Mountain Crossings .. I’m keeping Rich up to date on your journey . he says good luck !
    Have a peaceful rest in the cold air tonight ! Peace and Harmony .
    Rich and Deb Timmers :}

  4. Angel Cooper Avatar
    Angel Cooper

    Enjoying reading you first days on the trail. Love that you are finding trail magic early!

  5. James Melone Avatar
    James Melone

    Your selfies have me thinking… Are you planning to get haircuts and have your beard trimmed along the way, or will you go full mountain man? If going FMM, this could be a fun transformation to watch unfold. The hike would be both a spiritual and physical transformation as you become lean and ripped (and dirty and smelly) like Tom Hanks from Castaway. Imagine looking back at your photos after the hike. You’d be like, “Aww. I was such a young and naive newbie at week 2, ordering pizzas and cokes. Now, I am wise and seasoned mountain man, trapping small game and roasting them over fire!” I’m sure there’s still a Wilson award somewhere in the office you could pose with!

    1. Chris Avatar

      I am not trimming the beard. Undecided on haircuts. I think the rest you have right except at the end I’ll be eating Raman dry from the package and not bothering to setup camp just sleeping on piles of leaves.

  6. Lizz Avatar

    Oh no! Not the vortex! It’s only been a couple days. I bet you’ll master that temptation with a bit of practice and will power. You got this!

    We’re all supporting you and cheering you on! (Although, part of that support includes supporting you if you do at some point decide to stop. Nothing wrong with that at all. But as long as you’re still enjoying the challenge, keep going! We’ll support you in that decision, too.)

    Looking forward to the next update.

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