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April 8, 2004

Hell Week not so bad..

They call the first week "Hell Week", and our hikers have trekked their way through it! Only a little worse for wear... :-)

Last night(Day 6), they camped near what used to be an old cheese factory, about halfway between Unicoi1 and Tray2 Gaps. Tonight (Day 7), they're at a hotel in Hiawassee, which is 11 miles (hitched) off the trail from Dicks Creek Gap3.

April 6612 miles
713.5 miles

For those of you that like reading (apparently, I'm too wordy for some :-P):

More about Day 6:

They hitched into the town of Helen4 when they reached Unicoi Gap yesterday, and had dinner at one of their German restaurants. Ruth said Dad ate knockwurst or some kind of sausage and sauerkraut, and she had a Reuben, and they both had some excellent german beer. She also mentioned that it took a long time to hitch a ride into town. The first person they saw on their way out gave them a ride, and suggested that they'd been standing in the wrong place...

More about Day 7:

More Trail Magic today in Addis Gap5. Dad and Ruth arrived near the tail end of an annual week-long event. Some folk camp out there with camp chairs and a hammock, and provide "monster food" (fruit, sandwiches, succotash, corn-lima beans-butter6, soda, beer, liquor and water) to whoever happens to be hiking for that week. A little downstream, they also had a coleman stove and buckets for a hot trail bath. Ruth mentioned that the hammock was apparently comfortable, as Dad fell asleep in it.

Trail Names:

Dad justified Oxymoron. He said that when people ask, "Why Oxymoron?" He replies, "because walking-contradition-in-terms takes too long." And I did remember to ask: it's Oxymoron - one word, no allusions to bovines. I suppose my imagination got the better of me on that one.

Adventures with Blisters:

Dad apparently has a blister on his butt. Yes. His butt. He already split his first pair of shorts (he maintains that they were old), and so he bought a pair of North Face pants of some variety which apparently had a plethora of tags on the back of the waistband (as most pants do). Well, he cut those pesky tags off, but as he put it, "there's still all that stiff junk." And, of course, that is right where the waistband of his pack rests.

Ruth's feet seem to be doing ok, as they weren't mentioned.

New Essentials:


1 Unicoi Gap (2949 ft) - 50.7 miles

2 Tray Gap (3847 ft) - 55.1 miles

3 Dicks Creek Gap (2675 ft) - 66.8 miles

4 There are 'dry counties' down in Georgia, and apparently Helen is known as one of the few places you can get liquor.

5 Addis Gap (3304 ft) - 61.5 miles

6 Ruth mentioned specifically that while a dish of corn, lima beans, and butter may not sound very appetizing, it was delicious.

Posted by erin . Thursday, 8 Apr 2004 . 12:44 AM, MDT .


  1. Way to go!!! Those crazy kids are kicking butt! I don't think that I could ride a bike 13 miles a day. I'm going to Ruth H's wedding to make sure that they have some great pictures to come back to. See you there!


    Posted by Eric H . Thursday, 8 Apr 2004 . 11:49 PM, MDT . #