Day 2: Hawk Mountain Shelter to Woody Gap

Miles hiked today: 12.9
Miles hiked total: 21
Miles to go: 2164.3

Tonight, we’re sleeping in a bathroom…confused? Let me explain from the beginning.

We were planning on hiking to Gooch Mountain Shelter today, a comfortable 7.7 miles. But, there’s a stretch of trail (7 miles or so) that requires the use of bear canisters…which I don’t have. If we had stuck with the original plan, we would have had to hike close to 16 miles today, which just wasn’t going to happen. We decided instead to hike past Gooch Mountain Shelter to a little area called “Liss Gap”, which would have brought our total miles to 10.3. However, our plan didn’t go as planned because I’m pretty sure Liss Gap doesn’t exist.

We hiked and hiked and hiked, until eventually it felt like we had gone way too far. I took out my map and realized we were on the top of Ramrock Mountain.

Let me provide you with some important details:
– the temperature only rose to the low 30s all day and we were both incredibly cold
– it snowed on and off all day
– it was predicted to reach 16 degrees at night, with a windchill of -2 degrees
– it was around 5:30 when we reached the top of the mountain and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet
– it was another 2 miles off the mountain to Woody Gap
– Chrissy slipped on a rock and hurt her knee

We didn’t want to hike another 2 miles. Chrissy was in serious pain and I was simply cold, tired, and hungry. There was a campsite at the top of the mountain that would have been lovely to sleep at, but with the cold temps we knew that staying on the top of the mountain would be really irresponsible, so we forced ourselves to continue.

We finally reached Woody Gap around 7:00 and were hit with wind so strong we couldn’t even hear each other talking. It was an additional .8 miles uphill to the tent site and there was no way were hiking that. We called a couple hostels but all were booked. Because of this, we decided to just set the tent up right next to the road in Woody Gap, which isn’t the safest thing (nor the most legal, I’m sure). Within seconds, my body was in a full shiver and I couldn’t feel my fingers. I couldn’t even feel the tent in my hands. We managed to stake the tent, though, and then sought refuge in the women’s bathroom. The bathroom was just a small concrete room with a toilet, the type that needs to be emptied every couple of days. It was significantly warmer in the bathroom. We blew our air mattresses up in the bathroom and then ran them out to the tent. We then went back to the bathroom with the intent to change into our PJs before hiding in our tent. But once we got back to the bathroom we realized just how much warmer and nicer it was than outside. We started looking around: the toilet didn’t smell, it must have been emptied recently; the toilet had a seat cover; the floor was relatively clean; there was just enough room between the toilet and wall for a tent to fit. Well, that solved it.

We un-staked the tent and carried it inside the bathroom and put our sleeping pads and bags inside the tent, which is now inside a bathroom with the rest of our things. We’ve locked the door and are now calling this bathroom home for the night!

It’s still cold but nothing like how it felt outside. The wind is sometimes so strong that it’s slipping under the bathroom door and shaking our tent.

So, if you’re planning to hike in this area, don’t plan on camping at Liss Gap, because it’s fictional. However, if you’d like to stay at a 5-star restroom, I highly recommend the one at Woody Gap.

Ta-ta for now πŸ™‚

8 thoughts on “Day 2: Hawk Mountain Shelter to Woody Gap

  1. Hi RayLynn and Chrissy,I hope you both are sleeping and are warm right now, it’s 10:00 pm.  Thanks for setting me up to read your blog, I feel like I’m more connected to you this way.  I had Auntie, Unc

  2. That’s a very entertaining story! If only the toilet also had an electric hand dryer–you could’ve piped it into the tent via a pant leg and had actual heat!
    You don’t know me, but I’m a friend of Sarah’s (um, Ent’s), an AT through-hiker who is a few days ahead of you on the trail. Maybe you two will meet up somewhere along the way!
    Take care, hike strong, and keep up the writing–it’s awesome!

  3. Sounds like a rough second night, but I’m glad to hear you are staying warm. Even if it’s next a a toilet πŸ™‚ . What did you guys do for dinner since it was probably too cold for a fire?

    • We just ate a bunch of bars. We had our stove and fuel with us but didn’t want to use it inside the bathroom and risk death and such, ya know? πŸ˜‰

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