tray mountain shelter to deep gap shelter - August 9, 2014 - Member Trip Report

Hike Name: tray mountain shelter to deep gap shelter
Country: United States
State: Georgia
Trip Rating: 3 stars
Trip Date: August 9, 2014
Duration: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Trail Conditions: Fair
Trail Traffic: Light
Trip Weather: Cloudy
Trip Winds: Light
Trip Precipitation: Rain
Trip Temperature: High: 51-60, Low: 21-30 degrees Fahrenheit
Trip Report: After a strange night at the tray mountain shelter I got up made breakfast and hobbled down to the stream behind the shelter for more water. The couple I met late last night was still sleeping when I decided to hike to the next shelter. I left out limping from where I had twisted my knee but determined to make it to the next shelter. The trail winds up and down several hundred feet though wolfpen gap, steeltrap gap and young lick knob then comes to a campsite at sasafrass gap. I actually thought about stopping here because it was getting harder and harder to hike with my knee hurting but the fact that it was still raining and most of my gear was still wet from the night before I decided to keep going. By leaving before the other couple I knew they would be coming through sometime latter in the day because they were heading to Pennsylvania so I knew if I had a problem where I could not go any further they would be along to help at some point. So I kept pushing myself up over kellys knob and then finally to the deep gap shelter. Surprisingly it was only about 3pm when I got to the shelter and the rain had finally stopped for a bit. After thinking about it though I decided to call home and arrange a ride for Monday when I get to Hwy 76 near Hiawassee since I could hardly walk by now and it was supposed to keep raining for the next five days. However the signal at the shelter was really bad so I did manage to get a call out to my son but I was not sure if he got the full message to have Kimi pick me up in two days or not. In the meanwhile I figured I would just hang out at the deep gap shelter for two days until monday when I knew she could come pick me up because she works double shifts on the weekends. The deep gap shelter was a really nice two story shelter with lofts but because I had hurt my knee I did not dare climb the ladder to sleep in the lofts. I started a fire and cooked my dinner and kept thinking mickey and mini mouse would be along shortly but it was now dark and no sign of them. Then male hiker named Gerald from north carolina came in and he put up his hammock and we began to talk a bit when an hour later mickey and mini mouse did show up. One of my favorite things about hiking on the AT trail was meeting different hikers because everyone has a different background and recipes to share. After a while we all went to sleep. The next morning it was still raining but since I was not sure if my kids got my message I thought I would hike to town call home and stay at a backpacking hostel in a nice warm bed for a night while I waited for them to pick me up. I made my breakfeast then said goodbye to everyone because I wanted to leave before them in case I had any problems hiking because of my knee and I filled my water bottles up on my way back to the AT trail. I had only hiked about a tenth of a mile when I came across three firemen that were doing search and rescue when I discovered they were looking for me. Obviously my son screwed up the message and thought I wanted picked up Saturday night so my husband, daughter and 8 month old grandson drove to Georgia to the highway 76 intersection near Hiawasee GA to pick me up about 9 pm Saturday night. When I was not there they tried to hike out to find me but did not know which direction I was so they went the wrong way then went back to the car and slept in the car all night at the parking area. In the morning they tried to call me but I did not have cell service and since I still had not arrived at the parking area they called search and rescue to find me. I guess in a way I was relieved because I was having trouble hiking with a sore knee but at the same time a bit embarrassed because I did not want to admit that I had hurt myself. So they hiked with me out to where they could have a vehicle pick us up and then took me to meet my husband. I thought I was going to be in trouble but they were just happy I was alright. I owe a big thanks to the Towns County Ga fire & rescue people who took time out of their Sunday to come find me even though I could have made it out on my own but I do appreciate the fact that they seemed to really care that I made it home safely. I guess next time I should take either a buddy or a gps locator beacon in case something happens.



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