Day 13 – Locust Cove Gap to Cable Gap Shelter.

Today was nearly perfect hiking weather. The morning started cold but it warmed up to the mid 50s without much wind. I woke up about 7 and although it felt like I was flying through things, by the time in had everything packed up and had had breakfast it was still a little after 8 when I left camp.

There was nice climb to start the morning, which was welcome given the lower temps. One thing I’ve started to do is try to minimize the number of “costume changes” I have through the day by dressing in the morning with what I think I’ll want to wear for most of the day. This morning that meant shorts with no tights, my sun hoodie base layer and my fleece. It was cold to start but I hiked very comfortably in that for most of the day.

Some naturally formed “grave stones”

After the climb was a descent to Stecoah Gap. And of all things I never thought I’d run into on the AT, I ran into a detour for road construction. Just can’t escape it I guess!

Early signs of trouble ahead
The gravel path leading to the newly constructed stairs
I feel bad for the crew that had to haul this sign up the mountain. Something smaller surely would have worked 😝

Once I got back on the main trail the walk out of the gap was relatively easy until the climb out of sweet water gap, which had a grade of nearly 1,000 ft per mile. There wasn’t any grand view from the top – it was just a hill I needed to climb.

With that out of the way, it was another 7 miles to camp. I was making great time, so considered for a minute pushing another 5 miles on to the Fontana Hilton (a shelter on the AT considered to be the most luxurious with power and water since it’s close to the road) but I need to resupply before entering the smokies and the marina closes at 4 – an hour or so before I would have been able to get there.

Cable Gap Shelter

I pulled into camp a little before 3 and setup my hammock next to a little stream. I always sleep great next to running water.

Over the course of the next hour other hikers arrived – Caleb, M&M and even Bard and Jake and a new group that included 2 other hammock campers! Another full campground tonight.

Three hammocks in the campground tonight!

Tomorrow it will be a race to get to Fontana to make the shuttle to town and resupply. Have to figure out what the status is of the road from Newfound Gap as well. It was closed a few days ago from blow downs from the storms. If it’s not reopened yet then I’ll have to get setup for a 4-5 day food carry to make it all the way through the smokies.






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