Friday–April 2, 2021
Location–Woody Gap, then to Above the Clouds Hostel, Lucky, Proprietor
A fine supper last, prepared by Nimrod. Coffee at six, then a tank-stoking breakfast this morning! A very cold night, well below freezing, but I slept well in a separate bunkhouse room.
We linger this morning waiting for the day to warm the least. Barry has me back to Cooper Gap, to finally get out and going a little before nine. He’s loaned me his gloves, a blessing for sure.
Much easier going today, not near as many rocks and roots. Hiking (hunching) along I get to see a neat natural phenomenon that graces the trail–hoar frost, a fascinating ice formation.
I was concerned about having to make two fairly wide water crossings today, Justus and Blackwell Creeks, but other than a brief toe dunking, I’m across them both with fairly dry feet.
More climbing today but not as severe or as long as yesterday’s ascents and descents. Barry is patiently waiting for me at Gooch Gap, a bit past half-way for me today. I get in the van and he cranks the heat. A cheese sandwich and an energy bar and I’m back out to finish the day, up and over Ramrod Mountain (great views from Preacher’s Rock), then around the flanks of Black Mountain where Barry comes to greet me. We then hike on to Woody Gap.
A treat awaits us at the gap. The Twelve Tribes are here in their Peacemaker Bus . They’ve a tent set up and are serving lentil soup and herbal tea. They refuse to accept donations. Just a gesture of kindness extended to hikers!
Pictured left to right: Yoseph, Odem, Ish, Nimblewill, Daniel, M’susah, and Gabrielle. In other photo: Nathan & Chavar.
It’s a short drive down the mountain to Above the Clouds Hostel, where we’ll spend our second night. Another fine supper prepared by Nimrod, for 25 hungry hikers. Late afternoon, dear friends Dan Sheltowee, Nina Waterfall, and Little Anne Rogers come to pay me a visit. What a fine time! Haven’t seen them in years.
Lucky puts me up in a private room–again!
Through this toilsome world, alas!
Once and only once I pass.
If a kindness I may show,
If a good deed I may do,
To my suffering fellow men
Let me do it while I can
Nor delay it, for t’is plain
I shall not pass this way again.