Day 42 – Deep Gap to Massie Gap

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up about the last day of my TH attempt this year. To be honest, I’ve been slow on a lot of things related to my hike officially ending. My bag sat unpacked for a few days. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to remove my TH tag from my pack. Even stepping off the trail on the last day took me a minute (I hiked past the turn off initially and had to back track…I’m sure that was accidental 😝).

All good things must come to an end and so it is with my hike. Here’s how the last day went down.

In addition to the early evening shower, we got hit with another one around midnight. It came in a few waves and had some pretty good wind in some of them. I think I fell back asleep around 2. We needed to get an early start this morning since I had a friend picking us up and noon and didn’t want to make him wait too long. I was out of my hammock a bit after 6, we made a quick breakfast and we were on the trail by about 7:30.

We stopped early on to get some water (the water on the trail is way closer than the spring is to camp – should have hit that up last night) and then started the climb up to the Grayson Highlands. It wasn’t long until we saw Pony sign (droppings) but it wasn’t until we went through the first gate that we saw any Ponies. And man did we see them! At least 4 different groups, two of them with babies!

The highlands did not fail to impress. It really is like being in Scotland – I even had to play some bagpipe music on my phone to complete the mood. The trail through the highlands seemed to be taking us in circles but eventually we made our way to the access trail the the Massie gap parking lot and I took the step that ended my TH attempt this year. I joined the majority of those that try to hike the AT each year = the ones that don’t finish.

I’m coming back with such a new perspective on so many things. I’m so grateful to everyone I met along the way and especially the two friends that took time to share some of my adventure. I only have two regrets:

  • I’ll never know what else I could have learned / how else I could have changed if I’d continued. I approached the second segment of the hike with a totally different attitude and it was a totally different experience.
  • The next time I hike, I’ll be starting over on my trail legs. I’ve never been in better trail shape!

I think I’ll do some wrap up posts in the next few weeks on some of the people I met, what I learned, what I’m bringing back and maybe a review of the gear I used/dropped/added along the way. I’ve got nearly 100 pages of journal to go through and probably some more to add.

Thanks to all of you that followed along here and supported me. Every view and comment made a difference. I only hope this served as some small inspiration for you to do something you’ve always wanted to even if success might look differently than you planned.






2 responses to “Day 42 – Deep Gap to Massie Gap”

  1. Angel Cooper Avatar
    Angel Cooper

    Thank you, Chris for sharing your experience on the AT. I would have loved to see you continue and complete the TH, but was not to be. Hoping that you will plan and try again.

  2. Eric Avatar

    Congratulations on completing your revised plan after the injury. I know it’s not what you hoped for, but clearly you’ve gained some valuable insights from the experience, and what an experience it was! 500 miles across three states is nothing to sneeze at.

    I’ve enjoyed following your adventures. It must have taken resolve to post about each day – I personally would not enjoy blogging from my phone. But now you have multiple logs of your trek and I’m sure you’ll be glad you kept them.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

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