Hike Last Day 6

Day Six Friday June 6, 1996

Sassafras Gap to Dicks Creek 6.1 miles

Elev. Gain
Sassafras Gap 3,500' - Addis Gap 3,304' - Kelly Knob 4,276'
Deep Gap 3,550' - Powell Mt. 3,850' Dick's Creek 2,675

Our last day of hiking was at hand and the majority around the camp that morning was we were ready for a hot shower, better food, and a soft clean bed!

Start of Day 6

The only thing standing in our way was Kelly Knob at 4, 276 feet! With Sassafras being 3,550 we had a big climb coming up! We had 6.1 miles to make it to our car since we stayed at Sassafras and not Addis last evening. WOW Kelly KNOB was like McKinley--it just kept getting bigger and steeper--and we kept saying it cant be much farther and then it would be!!

About 1/2 way up we stopped to rest on rocks trying to catch our breath and cool down--boy talk about burning some calories--

we got back on the trail and 2 hikers past us, one older using 2hiking poles and a younger baby faced one...They stopped to chat and asked if we could give them a ride into Hiawassee if we could stand the smell...well if we tossed some packs on the roof we may be able to squeeze them in the back cargo area of the Bronco II so yeah, if they are there will take them.

We stopped for water that crossed the trail and when we reached the flat part of the Knob we had lunch on a log alongside the trail. It was squashed Debbie Cakes and Slim Jims, talk about JUNK FOOD-but if its all you got you make do!
There was a blue blazed trail to a "VIEW" so the sign said so we hiked to see it and boy it was a nice ONE! Could even see Hiawassee Lake in the valley below. 

Back on the trail Marsha waited. We headed for our last 3.4 miles most of it was down hill and we had spread out quite a bit. I couldnt see anyone in front or behind me. In Mooreland Gap we started to see lots of water, now that we really DONT need it, finding clean water had been a really big challenge on this section hike.

I started to think about the waiting car and wondered was I ready to get off the trail? Not really, now I was in the rhythm to hike for the rest of my life, its funny how it becomes your only reality and the life you left behind is just a memory..Water was now the most important thing in our lives..if we found a good strong log to sit on, what a blessing, or some rocks that were just the right height for sitting, now that was home sweet home!!

Emma Last Steps off the AT

We rested on a log with about a mile to go. The sound of the cars in Dicks Creek below grew louder with each step we took. JT talked about the Chicken Strips he was going to eat for dinner later and we all named off our favorite dishes. When we finally entered Dicks Creek we all crossed the road together and JT hugged the Bronco. LOL he had done a super job on the hike, a great hiker, camper, and tent buddy! He was filthy having hiked in the same shorts for 4 days straight!! (the non chaffing shorts)

The 2 hikers were not there so we loaded our packs and headed to the BP station for cokes n candy bars! Then we went to Unicoi Gap and retrieved our stash bags and rope..thne onto the Hiawassee Inn where hot showers waited!!

making a run to the waiting Bronco!
Dicks Creek, GA

 When we checked in the lady at the counter told me 2 women had been murdered on the trail in Virginia--that spooked me and I thought not mentioning it but knew they would learn sooner or later...how awful is that..later when got home I followed the story in the papers. Later that night after showers and a rest we ate in Steve's Place and JT had his chicken strips, and 2 BLT's OH yeah a 16 y.o. boy can eat!!!

Em all cleaned up after the hike

JT in the room after a shower ready to go again!

....On the way out of Hiawassee the next day we spotted 2 stix and babyface hitching back to the trail we hollered and waved, if we hadnt packed to car already we would have given them a ride, but we were packed and headed out the other way..THEY waved but Im ,sure they didnt know it was US from the day before...Glad they had a good night in town.


Backpacking The Appalachian Trail was a goal of ours... its a wonderful thing to do, we had planned a trip for the following yr 1997...to hike from Dicks Creek Georgia to Deep Gap in North Carolina..we were to go about the same time of yr last of May/first of June. The trip was planned, everyone was to meet at our house and we would leave the first week of June for the AT...had motels and a ride lined up...our packs were loaded with food, and stood ready to go... WE would be leaving the day after...and when Mom and I were driving to the Airport in Charlotte to pick Emma up A car hit us at 55 MPH and we were nearly killed...our lives changed drastically!  Nothing was the same since that day...

My Mom was in the hospital for 34 days on life support for 2 weeks and nearly died. I was so bruised and battered by the seatbelts I could barely walk for over a month. I missed a month of work, and instead of spending a week on the trail we spent it hovering over my mom's hospital bed, crying, sad, depressed, wondering if she was going to live or die.... then the sisters had to go back to work and we never did get back to packing the AT...sadly!  Funny on our first hike we helped someone in need who had crashed and when we tried to go on our 3rd hike it was us who had to be rescued!

JT, Marsha, and I did more backpacking trips one in NC and one in Savage Gulf Tennessee and it was super..but there is nothing like hiking the AT!!!

Follow the White Blaze all the way to HAPPY!!