Appalachian Trail Thru-hike Day 5 March 27, 2017 Lance Creek to Neels Gap

There aren’t two other words in the English language that strike fear in a new thru-hiker life then “Blood Mountain”

 This would be the most challenging climb so far. To say it was hard does not do it justice. I was climbing over boulders as large as myself. I had to stop every few feet it seemed to catch my breath, but this obstacle was the only thing in my way of completing the first leg of my journey and making it to Neels Gap.

Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain

When I finally made it to the top of Blood Mountain, I found an old stone shelter surrounded by huge boulders. It’s one of the oldest shelters on the AT built in 1934. It had a stone fireplace that had long ago been bricked up. The windows were all missing their glass panes, and a fog was rolling in to make this one creepy shelter. I can’t imagine spending the night there. After a quick hop down the mountain, we came to Neels Gap. 

Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain Shelter

  Neels Gap is the symbolic first step to a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail as 20% of all would be thru-hikers quit here. 

Appalachian Trail

Dorthy and I decided to share a cabin at Blood Mountain cabins. First, we went to the little country store there and got two large pizzas, and devoured them. Then we went back to the cabin and sat in rocking chairs on the back porch listening to the water from a nearby stream. After a relaxing evening, we drifted off to sleep in the first beds we had slept in five days. It was heaven. 

I’m now 31.4 miles into the Appalachian Trail

Dorthy at Blood Mountains Cabin Store

Other pictures of today.

Blood Mountains Cabin
Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain Shelter
Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain Shelter
Appalachian Trail Blood Mountain Shelter
Mountains Crossings at Neel Gap
Blood Mountains Cabin Store


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