Member Trip Report

Country: United States
State: Georgia
Trip Date: 11/07/2002
Duration: 2 days
Trail Conditions: Good
Trail Traffic: Light
Trip Weather: Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Cloudy
Trip Winds: Moderate
Trip Precipitation: None
Trip Temperature: High: 51-60, Low: 21-30 degrees fahrenheit
Trip Report: 11/07/02 (Thursday): Left Pixie’s this am to pick up Rebel at her parents place, then bought some quick food for him at the Quickie Mart and met The Rooster at the house. The Operator rolled over by 10:30am this morning and we spent about twenty minutes loading packs and getting out the door. On GA 400, Morgano called and we met him for lunch at Del Taco on Exit 14. The weather was nice, and Morgano desperately wanted to skip work and join us.

We drove the truck to Neels Gap and made a last minute stop at the camp store. We were well supplied, but couldn’t help having a look around the outfitter. By 1:30pm we were at the Reece Memorial parking area and ready to hit the trail. It was cooler and cloudier in North Georgia, but we had decent weather for the hike up Blood Mountain. It was a two mile hike to an area just short of the shelter that had numerous campsites tucked in the woods. No fires are allowed within 300 feet of the trail, so we had to look carefully to find a suitable site that met the rules. Temps dropped to the 20’s tonight, and none of us wanted to hang out without a fire this evening.

We pitched camp in about thirty minutes, then The Rooster and I joined The Operator who was already collecting firewood. We found a downed tree, cut it up, then walked out to a nearby rock outcropping and watched the sun drop behind a bunch of clouds. Streaks of light splintered the sky, and it made for a cool photo at dusk.

With the sunset, the temperature dropped quickly. The Operator tried to start a fire but most of our wood was wet from the heavy and frequent rains we’ve had this week, and it was a chore to get a blaze going. He had to use the stove, “Camel style”, to get the tinder to catch. Unfortunately, the process clogged my jets with carbon deposits and I spent the next thirty minutes taking apart and reassembling the stove. I thought for a while we’d be cooking over the fire tonight, but I finally got the stove working and cooked up some soup, kielbasa and vegetables while The Operator and The Rooster worked on the fire.

Eventually, we got a blaze roaring but the smoke was trapped in the camping area by six feet boulders to the west and to the north of the site. We thought these rocks would shield us from the wind, but they prevented the smoke from clearing the area. After about two hours of standing and circling the fire, we gave up and headed to my tent to play cards using our headlamps. Rebel wore out at dusk, and was in the tent and quite toasty in my zero degree sleeping bag. After an hour, however, we crashed for the night and I needed the bag. Rebel was shivering as a result, and I had to wrap him in my rain jacket to keep him warm. This proved to be ineffective, and I had to bear hug him with my bag half way open to keep him (and me) warm. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well this evening.

11/08/02 (Friday) – It was still below freezing when we woke the next morning. The Rooster got up at sunrise and hiked to Blood Mountain for the sunset. It was his birthday today, and the morning hike seemed to give him a lift.

We decided to pack up and skip breakfast this am (at The Rooster’s request). So I made some hot chocolate, feed Rebel, then hit the trail around 9:30am. It was sunny this morning and nice weather for hiking. We ran into a southbound thru-hiker (who was only two days from completing his journey), then split at the Freeman Trail so The Rooster and The Operator could see something new along the AT. Hiked to the truck via the Reece Memorial Access Trail, loaded up the dog, then met them at Neels Gap. Got some Cokes in the camp store, then headed into town for breakfast at the Waffle House near Dawsonville. Made it back to town by mid-afternoon. Somewhere on this trip, I lost my well-worn WF hat. May it rest in peace.
Trip Rating: 3 stars

38800 points


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