Standing Indian Shelter to Winding Stair Gap : April 18 – 20, 2018 for 23.5 miles
These days marked a transition for me, from hiking to where my trail friends were camped to hiking the miles I wanted to hike for that day and trusting that I’d find a new community. I was not disappointed.
After leaving Standing Indian Shelter, a hiker named Low Gear soon began to overtake me, and although we knew each other, we had never tried to hike together. It turned out that she was an excellent person to hike with.
Although she was determined to maintain her solo hiker status (a point which I truly understand and respect) she was fun to talk to and the miles flew by. We began to also have multiple encounters with another hiker named Pacifier who had been posting videos of her hike to YouTube since March. The three of us ended up camping together at Carter Gap Shelter and would spend the next two days after that hiking out to Winding Stair Gap.
I am immensely grateful for the companionship that both women offered. My other friends had hiked on ahead of us, and I would see them again when we came off the trail in Franklin, NC. But for those last three days on the trail before coming off, I was glad to get to know Pacifier and Low Gear better, and to hike with people instead of alone.
Day 13 – Wednesday, April 18 – Standing Indian Shelter to Carter Gap Shelter (7.6 miles, 93.3 miles from Springer)
Day 14 – Thursday, April 19 – Carter Gap Shelter to Long Branch Shelter (8.7 miles, 102 miles from Springer)
On this day, when we left Carter Gap Shelter, Pacifier hiked with us. We all traveled at the same pace and took breaks together.
Day 15 – Friday, April 20 – Long Branch Shelter to Winding Stair Gap (7.2 miles, 109.2 miles from Springer)
On April 21st I came off the trail to catch up on some work and see my family. Hopefully it won’t be long before I return to hiking and am able to catch up with my friends on the trail.