AT Day 5 – What a difference 24 hours makes – Hiawassee 


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20th April 2017

13 miles

Cheese Factory Site (56.3) to Dicks Creek Gap (Hiawassee) (69.3)

What a difference 24 hours makes. I bounced out of bed with a spring in my step. My energy had returned with interest. I felt lighter, stronger and motivated to be back on the trail. There’s a saying when thru hiking, ‘don’t quit on a bad day’. I had no intention of quitting but yesterday was certainly a bad day.

As per usual the low cloud and fog was persistent for most of the morning. The climb to the top of Trey Mountain should have had great views but not today.

My legs were feeling good and strong and the miles came quickly. I took time to notice the flowers just starting to bloom and the new shoots on the trees just starting their journey into summer.

By 12.30 I made it to Dicks Gap and the highway that would take me to Hiawassee. Yesterday I made arrangements with another hiker called Soop to share a room in town. I didn’t know where he was and he didn’t know where I was so I  walked down the highway less than 1/2 mile to a hostel called Top of Georgia Hostel. They offered me a free Dr Pepper, an electrical outlet and the wifi password. I wasn’t going any further.

For $30 I had a bunk bed, laundry, wifi, shower, towel, coffee, breakfast and a shuttle into town for dinner and resupply. I showered, charged my phone and had my laundry washed when Soop walked in, I had passed him, somehow. With no access to the internet for several days I quickly updated some blog posts, including this one and headed into town with about 10 other hikers to enjoy Mexican food. After spending almost 12 of the last 18 months in Mexico I found myself eating Mexican food.

A couple of beers and burritos later I went to the Dollar General store to resupply. Four days food for less than $15, bargain. I forgot to mention there are these things called hiker boxes. Leave what you don’t want or take what you want. I seem to be the only hiker that likes oats for breakfast as there were enough in the hiker box to feed a hiker for 3 weeks worth of breakfast. I almost could have completely resupplied out of this box.

Including meals, resupply and accomodation I spent around $60, that’s not bad for a town stop. As per usual. It started raining as the sun was setting. There’s another expression about hiking the Appalachian Trail, ‘No Rain, No Pain, No Maine’.

foggy camp
The campsite in the morning
foggy trail
Normally there should be great view from here
green tunnel
appalachian trail near hiawassee
top of georgia hostel
Top of Georgia Hostel
mexican food
Mexican for dinner

Next : Day 6 – The Lands of the Cherokee

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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6 thoughts on “AT Day 5 – What a difference 24 hours makes – Hiawassee ”

  1. Glad yo made a quick recovery. You hear about people on cruise ships who get an outbreak of norovirus… The whole ships toilet system blocks and overflows because so many people are sick. What a nightmare!

    • I just heard of another hiker I met earlier in the trail also got it at the same place, I guess there’s a bit of luck involved.

  2. That was a pronto recovery, great to read that you are back jumping around on the trail, enjoying the foggy views… ;-) Cheers! :-)

  3. Looks like your stomach issue is a common occurrence. Found this on In recent years, those in the midst of the increasingly large “bubble” of northbound thru-hikers may have found themselves exposed to norovirus, a short-lived but extremely unpleasant stomach bug.


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