Day 5 Neels Gap to Low Gap Shelter

Day 5
I didn’t sleep that well due to the sound of the air con so dozed for most of the night.  The lights flicked on at 7.30 so I slumped out of bed.
The weather didn’t look good as I peered out of the window, In fact it was chucking it down and it was windy.
I packed up and then made tea using the microwave.
Can’t beat a cuppa, the next stop was the shop for a breakfast roll. Its  crap  but  oh so
OKAY I am out of here. I hoisted up my  pack  and  entered  the element I was just wearing a vest and my rain jacket, as I didn’t want get too hot.
I crossed through the archway to the trail and headed up.
I had my cap on under my rain jacket but I couldn’t see  where i was going due to the peak so had to remove the hood. I marched on , the  rain not bothering  me .
I was doing well as I climbed until the wind came.
Omg it cut right through me, I think i have made a mistake by not wearing another layer.I pushed on worrying about my body temperature . and  trying to avoid the wind .

I was soon caught  by  the  hikers i was chatting to yesterday, Beth & Dan and  one other.  I followed them for a while ,leapfrogging  each other for most of the morning.
It was 11 miles to the next shelter a bit optimistic  but  that  was my target, And I was trying to do it non stop. Well it was pointless stopping in this weather !
I pushed on and on through the fog and rain. At last the wind died, Thank God.
THe  trail was typically poor littered with rocks  and  roots  all trying to bring you down  and so i was unable to  get much of a pace. THe  trail then turned to more slabs of  granite. I haven’t yet  got the confidence in my feet that  they would  stick  on this surface . If I was a goat I would be okay .
I plodded away, listening to my watch ping the hours away

Then I came to Tennessee Gap. Oh my fucking God …it was steep, Bloody steep I limped up loosing site of my friends . I just kept on climbing and climbing surely it must stop.
At last I’m heading down but it’s gnarly and I scared or turning an ankle. so im going slow . How much further?
I’m going non stop, as there is no point stopping for a break in the rain .
Come on snail, I pushed on and another climb . I  am sure that there were fantastic views but all I could see was rain and fog.
Suddenly the rain stopped and the forest became very calm and quite and then the birds began to sing making me smile .
I marched on passing a few tents, then i passed  a discarded tarp that looked brand new !!.
I was making good time but was tired until  the rain returned. Bugger, I pushed on and on I must be getting near.
At last a sign for camp,  I set off down the side trail hopingthat  I had read it right.
Hikers whooped me in as I arrived at the shelter. It looked quite full .This shelter  had room for 12  people   and there were12 of us sheltering from the rain. But 4 were moving on. (mad people)
I found  myselfa corner and  unpacked  my gear  for  the shelter and  then chnaged into dry warm clothes , ah  thats much better, although it still took about another hour until the feeling returned to my fingers.  I cooked tea and drank hot chocolate.DAn and BEth decided to  camp , as  they  felt  that they slept  better.
Big  mike  was here   he  looked frozen as he  hadbt  any  real  proper hiking  gear. His rain jacket  was a cheapo  from walmart  and  it was crap. Mike was a lovely  person but very Naive  and ill-prepared . He  attempted to cook diiner and  i had to look away  as he made a complete hash of  it .
once we were all done  we lay out  our pads and  bags, But before bed it ws time to hang  my food bag. At this shelyer  there were Bear cables   which make  hanging  so much easier.
Its  only just gone six  but its time for  bed .
mike  lay  beside me    and  due  to  the   por quality  of  his  kit  he  spent  most  of  the night shivering !!

Night all

Start  42.6
Finish 58.3
Miles 15.7


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