Hike Day 5

Friday- Day Five June 6, 1996

Cheese Factory - Sassafras Gap 7.0 miles

Elev. gain
Cheese Factory: 3,600' - Tray Gap: 3,847' - Tray Mt Summit: 4,430' - Unamed Gap: 3,760'
Wolfpen Gap: 3, 550' - Steeltrap Gap: 3,500' - Young Lick Knob: 3,800'
Swag of the Blue Ridge: 3,400' - Round Top: 3,964' - Sassafras Gap; 3,500'

We started this day worrying about the climb up Tray Mountain. We've dreaded this climb the whole trip. As it turned out it not as bad as we had anticipated! It was a beautiful area with lots of Laurel and Rhododendron in bloom. There were lots of butterflies here along with their catapiller. We came into Tray Gap and there was a campsite with a man standing next to a tent. Marsha asked if there was water close by..he told us there was a natural water source at the shelter on the other side. I thought it was funny that they had so many heavy things in their camp no way they could pack that stuff in. A second man scared me, I didnt see him sitting on the rock, until he spoke! Farther up the trail was the Tray Mt Rd again and a truck sitting there..so We figured it was them who had passed our camp the night before.

At the summit of Tray Mountain was the most magnificent view.

view from the top of Tray Mt. GA 4,430 ft

I reached it alone and I was awed by vast view from this point. Hawks circled below below. The rest of the group arrived and we had a pack off and rested on the rocks and enjoyed relaxing by this fantastic view. We felt renewed and ready to conquer the world at this point!!

Tray Mt Summit





Still Smiling!


HI Em!


packing up leaving Tray Mt behind
 Down the other side we made it to the blue blazed trail to the Tray Mt. Shelter. Marsha & I went for the water- the shelter there was in very bad shape...and some lazy campers had left their trash behind..That sucks!!

We went on and we were soon over taken by a young man and his father. Emma and I spotted a Jack in the Pulpit and they took an interest in it as well. They passed us and and soon we caught up to JT n Marsha who rested while waiting for us.

We stopped at a great area for lunch that had nice flat rocks to dine on.

                                                                                                                                                          Lunch break at Wolf Pen Gap

at the Swag of the Blue Ridge


  The upcoming area the Swag of the Blue Ridge was according to the guide book an easy 3/10ths of a mile ahead. We kept waiting for the easy, but it never came.. Our plan had been to stop at Addis for the night..but an entry in the Blue Mt. Shelter log book said Addis was horrible dont stay there--so we decided to try for a stop at Sassafras Gap if there was water.

The hike up Round top was tough...we had to rest then headed on to our destination camp at Sassafras...

When we arrived a blue blazed trail led to water, and this time the 3 of them went for water and I stayed behind and put up the tents and set up camp.

Round Top Whopped!
They returned saying it was steep so I was glad I didnt go! They brought back 3 bags of water so all was good on that front. There was a huge fire ring also. We got busy making dinner and during the clean up a Grasshoppers leg fell into the plate I had just washed from a tree overhead. LOL So stange!

We had tent baths and that felt super--later on some hikers still walking at DARK, came thru our camp...and then later still 3 deer wandered in. They hung around a while I guess they are used to hikers & campsites.

Camp at Sassafras

That night JT and I left our tent flaps open and slept on the zipper side so we could watch fireflies and the stars come out. It was our last night on the trail so we wanted to get the most out of it that we  could.                                                   

This is our last camp on the trail keep following the white blaze to read the end of our trek!