Day 9: Bly Gap to Carter Gap Shelter

Today had its ups and downs. And I’m not just talking about ascents and descents on mountains. Today was our longest hiking day yet. We hiked 15.3 miles. The climb out of Bly Gap was steep. It was supposed to rain all day, so I was sweating quite a bit going up the bald. Thankfully, it didn’t really rain at all today, but we kept on our rain gear just in case. As we headed into Deep Gap (yes, another Deep Gap, but this time in NC), we ran into a Boy Scout Troop heading up Standing Indian Mountain for an overnight camp out. They were a good group of boys and one of them even offered us some blueberries. The troop leader also offered to cook us dinner if we camped out on top of the mountain, but we had already decided to push on to Carter Gap.

I was nervous about climbing Standing Indian because it was the tallest mountain yet at 5,498 ft, but it wasn’t bad at all. The climb was very gradual; however, it was so foggy out, we couldn’t see anything from the top. As we began our descent down the mountain, I started to feel kind of lightheaded, like I hadn’t eaten in awhile and I felt myself getting weak. I had eaten just before we climbed Standing Indian, which was less than an hour before. I’m not really sure what happened to me, but I was hoping I would see Miles stopped ahead of me at some point. When it was clear that he had gone all the way to Beech Gap, I had to sit down and eat something. I almost felt like I could have just collapsed on the side of the trail if I had walked any further. I ate some sausage and cheese and a Clif bar and then kept going. I did feel somewhat better, but for the rest of our hike to the shelter, I still felt sort of lightheaded. I’m fine now, so I’m not really sure what happened. I had been eating all day and drinking plenty of water. I wondered if it could be altitude sickness. Guess we’ll find out tomorrow if it happens on our next big climb.

We made it to Carter Gap Shelter, where we finally caught up with three guys we started with on the first day. They thought that we had blown by them, so they were surprised to see us.

North Carolina has been beautiful so far and already seems more wild than Georgia. Not sure if it will stay that way though. The campsite here is awesome with lots of trees and very sheltered. The outside of my right foot has started to hurt. This is just what I was worried about when I was looking at shoes. I may need to make some adjustments with my insoles or maybe I should get some new shoes. We will see I suppose.

We are currently sleeping near the loudest and most annoying snorer I have ever heard in my life. And I thought that the guys the other night were bad. This guy trumps them all. You could be 50 feet away and still hear this guy. Looks like another sleepless night for me!

13 thoughts on “Day 9: Bly Gap to Carter Gap Shelter

  1. One of the guys who used to crew with Grampy on sail boat races snored like that. The rest would only get good sleep when he was on watch. Shall we bring you some ear plugs at Hot Springs? G&G

  2. Frank Bisher says: Hi trekkers. I’m glad to see you’ve gotten into the routine of hiking 12-13 miles a day. But take care of your selves. Lindsey, hope you figure out what made you dizzy and lightheaded. 30% dropped out, huh, but you guys are still truckin’. Love it. Hey, Miles, you got some facial fuzz yet! Isaiah Bess will transfer to Hampden. It’s probably official by now. Just the principals had to finish their paperwork and give approval. I wonder if you are getting your reading done. Is the amount of your reading keeping up with these tremendous blogs from your dedicated hiking companion? Good luck. You guys are cool and I’m proud of you. Frank.

  3. Hmmmm….the symptoms you described make me think that maybe the rain gear was causing your body to overheat???? Especially, considering the other stresses your body is experiencing as it adapts to your sudden new life. Make sure you’re properly hydrated (as mentioned) and keep those electrolytes balanced. One last piece of fatherly advice….Neil Young is wrong (in this case) it’s not better to burn-out. Make sure you guys are pacing yourselves properly. You don’t want to meet that wall! šŸ˜‰

    1. Maybe it was the rain gear. It’s really hard for me to pinpoint a cause. We’ve done a lot of hiking in the past few days too, so I wonder if my body just hit a wall. We’re taking the day off tomorrow in town, so I think that will be really good for our bodies. Don’t want to burn out on this hike Neil!

  4. I thought I was the loudest snorer???? 15 miles is a good trek for a day. Happy sleeping and keep up the hard work. Xo

  5. Tough day for you. But I am sure you know those are going to happen. Your body is wondering what is going on. The wonderful things about our bodies is that they can adapt and will work for us. Take care of yourself. Some good advice given by your dad. Earplugs sound good, too! Maybe even sleeping away from the shelter – away from the snorers…..for that much needed sleep. Keep on keepin on….. Where’s there’s a will, there is a way. You can make it happen. I am astonished at what you have done already. Thinking about you…… P.s. I live in Mass. When you get up to the October Mt. area, I would love to meet you.

    1. Thanks Julie! We are taking a much needed zero day tomorrow. I think that will be really good for our bodies to have a full day of rest. I’m definitely going to be more wary about where we set up our tent and try to steer clear of the snorers!

      We would love to meet you in MA! I hope we make it there šŸ™‚

  6. Following your entries daily, Lindsey. I agree with your dad about the pacing. I’m usually guilty of being somewhat quick out of the gate when I hike, too. Neil Young wasn’t wrong about much else, though.

    1. It’s easy to up the miles out here without even blinking an eye. I can definitely see why a lot of people end up dropping out. Hopefully we’ll be doing some shorter days coming up here before we enter the Smokies.

  7. I just recently discovered your blog and am now checking it daily. Feeling lightheaded could have been from the thinner air due to the elevation change, especially since this was the highest point you had encountered. Looking forward to your next post!

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