Saturday–April 3, 2021
Location–Neels Gap, then to Above the Clouds Hostel, Lucky, Proprietor
Lucky has coffee brewing before six. I’m up and waste no time getting to the kitchen. Nimrod is already busy dicing up potatoes to fry for breakfast, to be served along with pancakes.
Early morning excitement as plans today are for Lucky to hike Blood Mountain with me. Hikers at the hostel shuttled back to the trail, we load and are on our way to Woody Gap. It’s a not so cold cloud-free morning as we head up and around Steel Trap and Jacobs Knobs–on our way to Big Cedar Mountain and Granny Top. We’re afforded great views along, especially from Preacher’s Rock (yesterday’s overlook was from Ramrod not Preacher’s Rock).
The trail smooths out as it sideslabs Burnett Field Mountain, then to descend to Jarrard Gap where we take a break.
Lucky surprises me with a thermos of steaming hot coffee and a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch!
Our final climb of the day (and nearly the last half of our 10+ mile day) is a scamper up the flanks of Blood Mountain. We make good time, arriving at two. The old CCC cabin is much as I remember it from two decades ago. Good to see it’s holding up well–photo time!
My dear friends, Sheltowee, Waterfall and their daughter, Anne have climbed from the gap to greet us and we meet part way. A fun time as we descend to Walasi Yi together.
A stop at Mountain Crossings to see my friends, but alas, Georganna and Logan are gone for the day. However, I’m greeted kindly by IB TAT, assistant here at the outfitters.
Evening, Barry shuttles Lucky and me back to Above the Clouds Hostel, where we’re again joined by Sheltowee, Waterfall & Anne. Nimrod prepares another fine meal for the hungry hikers and we join in.
What an excitement-filled, memorable day…
Climb the mountains
and get their good tidings.