17 SEP 14
TN/NC Section 11
Devil Fork Gap- Hogback Ridge Shelter
Miles today: 6.1
“It’s an interesting combination: Having a great fear of being alone, and having a desperate need for solitude and the solitary experience. That’s always been a tug of war for me.” – Jodie Foster
For some strange reason, I kept missing the entrance to the famed Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel. I mean, I found the buildings, parked, walked around and found the bathroom, but I kept missing the actual entrance so I could catch my shuttle. Oh- it was a little walkway obscured between two towering bushes that led to a patio where a few older gentlemen were. THAT was where I needed to be.
My driver got me to Devil Fork Gap (mi 309, elev 3115′) at around 1330. It was sunny and 71 degrees- not bad at all for a hike. The forecast called for a 30% chance of rain each day until Sunday, and it had just rained two days prior, so chances were the springs would be flowing freely. For some reason however, I decided to bring an extra water bottle, my down sleeping bag, a long-sleeved shirt, and a few other things I hadn’t brought along on my last hike. Although they were small and didn’t weigh much individually, that brought my pack weight (including 3 1/2 days of food) to 27 pounds- almost 4 pounds heavier than my Hot Springs hike- and THAT wasn’t factoring in water weight. Hmm.