AT Update #4: Whitley to Hogpen

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As everybody woke up we sat with what remained of the fire and enjoyed a simple breakfast. It was a nice, relaxed time.

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Well, the last day of the hike was pretty easy and definitely brief. Knowing that we didn’t have a long hike ahead of us I decided to sleep in a little. It sure felt good. The others started rolling out of bed, though, and I was close enough to the shelter that I heard them and eventually rolled out myself. We had a relaxed breakfast and then set about breaking down camp.

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The hike back up the Whitley Gap trail kind of sucked. My legs were ready to get to the top. Like most of the climbs, though, it didn’t last long. In about 30 minutes I was at the top of the mountain and hopped back on the AT for the short hike down to Hogpen. It was a beautiful sight to see my truck sitting there.

I did take the opportunity on the way out to take some shots of the view I missed while rushing to the shelter the night before. It sure is some pretty country up there.

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Before you knew it we were back on the AT and making the very short final leg to Hogpen. What a joy it was to see my truck! Mission accomplished!

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After everyone had made it back to the parking lot we loaded up and headed to Neels to pick up the truck we left there. Then it was on to Woody to pick up the other vehicles. It wasn’t long after reaching Woody that we were all starving and wanted some real food. We loaded up again and drove into Dahlonega to grab lunch at the Smith House. Unfortunately, while we were all looking forward to getting our fill of fried chicken and other Southern specialties they were closed on Monday. After regaining our senses we walked to the town center and found someplace else to eat. It wasn’t bad, but I sure wish I could’ve gorged on chicken.

After lunch four of us headed back towards Lawrenceville and the other headed towards his house. We made a quick stop at REI in Buford and I got a few things. They didn’t have the descender rings or Snow Peak windscreen I wanted but I did get some new stakes, some plasticware, and small Nalgene bottles. One of the guys left us at that point and the three amigos headed to Wal-Mart where I picked up some ripstop. Our FL stores don’t seem to offer that so I picked up 10 yards.

From Wally World we lost one more before two of us headed to the house. It sure felt good to jump in the shower and wash off the trail. I was very happy to not have to smell myself for the long drive home. I finally got on the road at 5:30 and surprisingly didn’t have a problem with traffic. I was on I-75 headed south before too long. I made decent time considering the 50 mph construction zones and pulled into the driveway at 11:30. The total mileage for the drive was 887.8 miles roundtrip.

It’s good to be home but I’m already looking forward to the next hike.


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