Trail Magic

I had my first trail magic this morning. First of all the wind went away before getting in my tent last night, it didn’t rain or snow, and my water was unfrozen and drinkable, as opposed to the previous day where it took the whole day to thaw out. Then when I was walking out of camp, I saw Jan had put out the sign for breakfast despite the clear day. So I walked up to her gorgeous house and had pancakes, eggs, and sausage. I need to figure out how to live right on the AT like that (before retirement). It was actually her first time doing trail magic but everyone there was super appreciative so I hope she continues.

So today was a 7.4 mile day, 5 miles of which was spent going up 1600 feet over Blood Mountain, then descending 1300 feet over the remaining mileage. Apparently Gaddis Mountain was in there too but I don’t see how it was separate from Blood Mountain. It’s a good thing it wasn’t raining because the backside of Blood Mountain is steep and mostly goes over giant rock slabs so it would have been very slippery coming down if it was wet. They were some beautiful views up there though. No wind today but it was still pretty chilly.

I got started around 8:45 and got into Neel Gap around 1:30. Some other people had gotten there first and got the cabins for us at Blood Mountain Cabins so we are nice and snug inside. We all got hot showers, frozen pizzas and sodas and candy, and clean laundry. None of the pizza places in town will deliver up here and I have to say, they’re missing out on a lot of profit from hikers who would gladly pay extra for some real pizza. We spent over an hour trying to get the local weather forecast on the weather channel but apparently they only have shows about extreme past weather now, and forecasts for every part of the country except this one. Finally some local news came on and it looks like rain the next couple of days. Tomorrow will be a similar low mileage but lots of ups and downs day but luckily an old coworker and his wife are picking me up for the night and have also agreed to do some trail magic and shuttle a few other hikers back to the cabins for the night.

We spent the evening just sitting around relaxing and planning the next couple of days. It’s nice to be warm and clean but even though I have a hard time going to sleep so early, it does feel way past my bedtime at this point. Apparently a lot of hikers drop out at Neel Gap if they’re going to drop out so it feels good to be here and doing great.

I do really appreciate all the comments you are leaving on my blog and I promise to answer them when I have both electricity and a steady signal, which has not happened yet.



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  1. Sounds like you’re settling into your journey 🙂 Sending you warm wishes & a big
    sloppy kiss from Jack xo

  2. So that’s what it takes for someone to make me breakfast. Now I may consider hiking the AT.

  3. Hey! I am officially addicted to your blog. I love it. Keep it up man; especially those pizzas.

  4. When I am rich I am buying you a house and a pizzeria on the trail where all our profits go to free pizzas for the hikes. Abra cadabra

  5. Loretta Lisowski March 23, 2013 — 7:14 am

    Our first trail magic happened last year when after a particularly hard and sunny stretch, an unknown trail volunteer left gallons of water hidden in a spot that could only be seen if you were looking for the next trail blaze. Best water we ever tasted!

  6. I said this before but again very happy your meeting nice people on your excellent adventure …. hugs honey

  7. Thanks for posting Kris; living vicariously through your posts! Continued happy trails.

    Ed Fitzpatrick

  8. Loving all your posts, Kris! Miss you already!!

  9. I hope the girls and I can bring some trail magic aka pizza your way when you come through PA!! 🙂 Keep it up Kris!

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