Blue Mountain to Dick’s Creek Gap

I did another relatively long day and made it from Blue Mountain to Dick’s Creek Gap. The weather really warmed up and after about 11:00 I was able to hike in shorts and a t-shirt.
I had my first encounter with “trail magic” today. Trail magic is when someone does something nice for hikers such as giving them food and drink or a place to shower, sleep and wash clothes. My first trail magic came from a 2010 AT thru-hiker who had set up some chairs next to his car at a place where the trail crosses a gravel road. He had driven all the way up from Atlanta and would spend the day handing out soft drinks, beer, Oreos, Snickers, and later in the day he was going to grill hot dogs. I was his first thru-hiker of the day and I drank a Mello Yellow (my first ever) and ate Oreos and Snickers while he told me about his thru-hike and gave me some tips about the trail ahead. I wish I could remember his name so that I could thank him in print…I’ll just call him “Paying It Forward”.
I was able to make arrangements with my Dad so that he and his wife, Marilyn, could pick me up at Dick’s Creek Gap and take me to their home so that I can spend Easter Sunday with them. They took me out for a nice dinner and I was able to take my first shower in four days, wash my clothes, and make a trip to the grocery store to pick up enough food to get me to my next resupply point, the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina.
So on Easter Sunday I will take a “nero”, which means “near zero”. A “zero” means a day in which you walk zero miles (a day off) and a “nero” means you walk less than a normal day’s mileage. On my first nero I’ll go to church with Dad and Marilyn, have a nice lunch at their home, then get back on the trail in the late afternoon. There are shelters at four miles and at ten miles from Dick’s Creek Gap and I’ll camp at one of them, depending on how much hiking time I have before dark.
The forecast is for rain all day on Sunday so it looks like I will get my first experience setting up camp in the rain. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I’m including a photo that I took today of what I call “Monkeyback Rock”. My grandsons, Jackson and Liam, like to play a game that’s like piggyback except they call it monkeyback. When I saw these rocks I thought of them and all the time we’ve spent playing monkeyback.

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About The Man in My Shoes

Since retiring in 2012 I am enjoying the freedom of being able to make my own decisions about how I spend my time and am taking advantage of the opportunities that I have to spend more time with my family, explore, learn, and pursue my dreams and goals. I look forward to writing about these pursuits and hope you enjoy reading about them.
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5 Responses to Blue Mountain to Dick’s Creek Gap

  1. I’d like to see a photo of you drinking a Mello Yellow and eating Oreos and Snickers! I love your Monkeyback Rock. Princess.

  2. Annette says:

    Happy Easter, Tim – What a nice “nero” to meet up with you Dad and Marilyn, go to church, have lunch and a shower, not necessarily in that order. I love your story about Monkeyback Rock and “Paying It Forward” with trail magic. I am learning so much about what happens on the AT as a follower…..it’s lots nicer than reading a book about it – not that there is anything wrong with reading a book about it. I’m off to church, too, my first outing since coming down with shingles 🙂
    Lots of Love.

  3. aaron82786 says:

    Hey! My boyfriend, Aaron, and I met you briefly at Blue Mountain Shelter the other night. I stumbled upon your blog after reading another hiker’s. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that your trail angel’s name is SqueezeCheese. Not sure of his “real” name, but that’s his trail name from when he thru-hiked in 2010. He was our favorite trail angel thus far, glad you got to meet him as well. Happy trails, Walker! -Julie

    • Hi Julie! It was good to meet you and Jacob at Blue Mountain. Thanks so much for giving me SqueezeCheese’s name. It’s funny that he was set up near the site of the old cheese factory. I’ll be able to remember now! I hope you and Jacob have a great hike together and I hope we meet again.
      Take care, Walker

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