Day 9 (April 1st): Muskrat Creek Shelter to Carter Gap Shelter

Miles hiked today: 12.5
Miles hiked total: 93.9
Miles to go: 2091.4

We were expecting another demanding “up” day today because we had to climb Standing Indian Mountain, and my guidebook showed an elevation gain of 1000 feet. However, it wasn’t bad at all. It was actually really pleasant, especially compared to the “ups” of yesterday.

Today was another sunny day. Chrissy and I set out on our own and passed a sign for “Chunky Gal Trail”. What a kind and forgiving trail name!


The trail was pretty constant until we reached the base of Standing Indian Mountain. Then we knew it was all uphill. Chrissy and I both put our music on and I relied on the voices of Darius Rucker, Zac Brown, and Florida Georgia Line to get me up the mountain. The trail, though, just switchbacked all the way up, and it was often shaded by the surrounding trees, giving the impression of walking through a tunnel. It was a really neat effect and I appreciated being hidden by the sun for a little bit. My arms and shoulders got a bit of a beating from the sun and appreciated the break from the heat.


Towards the top of the mountain we met up with Meagan and also had our first encounter with the Shrimp Gang. The story goes a group of 4 hikers all found dehydrated shrimp in a hiker box and brought it out on the trail with them, rehydrated it, and realized it tasted like absolute crap, and were then forced to carry it with them until they were able to empty their trash. After this whole occurrence, they started referring to themselves as the Shrimp Gang and have shrimp-related names (like “The Real Shrimp Shady).

We also leapfrogged with a couple of section hikers for a bit, whom we later saw at the shelter.

After we got off of Standing Indian Mountain, it was only a couple more miles to the shelter. When we got there, the shelter was full so we set up camp next to “Oliver and Twist”, Meagan, and the two section hikers.

Tomorrow we cross the 100-mile mark!


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