Lance Creek Campsite to Neel Gap – 7.3 miles
Climbed up Blood Mountain and played my trombone at the top. Stayed in a hostel at Mountains Crossing. A missionary group came to give us trail magic by way of a hot meal – pasta, salad, and bread. Also had pizza. Also had my pack shaked down and lost 2lbs of weight!
At the beginning of my hike, there weren’t a lot of private places to relieve myself at a campsite without a privy. This campsite especially. I always wake up having to pee really bad because I refuse to get up in the middle of the night to take care of it (at home and on the trail). I was awake before most of the other hikers, so I went part way down the trail towards the water source – making sure not to get too close to it – and took care of my business just before 2 hikers walked by.
The climb up Blood Mountain was brutal. It was cold so I had on my puffy, but I was also working hard to get up it that I could not decide whether to take it off or leave it on. I usually would end up opting to take my jacket off and just be a little bit cold. This sounds like a trivial problem, but I can guarantee that it’s something every thru hiker has had to deal with on a daily basis.
At the top of Blood Mountain, the view was amazing and I found a great spot for a bit of pBone playing. It was a little bit out of sight of the main trail so when I started playing a few people came around to where I was to find out what the music was coming from. I didn’t stay at the top long because my hands were frozen from only 2 minutes of playing the pBone. When I reached Neel Gap, I was the first one to check in to the hostel so I got first dibs on a bottom bunk and was quickly able to take my first shower since starting my thru hike. Attached to the hostel is the Mountain Crossing Outfitter where I resupplied and got pizza for dinner and then took my pack in to get a ‘shake down’ which is where one of the staff members there look through everything you have in your pack and tell you what you do and do not need with you. I ended up getting rid of 2lbs of weight! I called my mom and dad while I was eating and filled them in on my hike so far.
Not much later, a missionary group of college students in Georgia came to the hostel with a hot meal for all of the thru hikers there. It was delicious and all the students there were so nice to hang out with. I am forever grateful to any and all trail angels out there that helped me on my thru hike.