Day 14 went from Blue Mountain Shelter to Unicoi Gap – 2.4 miles.
This morning, I had a spectacular view of the sun rising over the mountains.
I had originally planned to keep going to Dicks Creek Gap, but my ankle was not having any more hiking.
This section was a 1,000 ft descent over 1 mile. That’s insanely steep.
It was very brutal on my ankle. Thankfully at Unicoi Gap, though, Trail Magic was going on! They made us hamburgers! Also while there, I talked to one of the young ladies putting on the Trail Magic would has the same ankle problems that I do, and she suggested a more supportive brace that really locks the ankle into place. So, I decided I would pick one up while in town!
I didn’t take any pictures today because my ankle was really killing me and I was just focused on getting to the Gap.
Okay, there was this one bad part to the day that I want to share with you because a lot of people don’t realize how serious an issue this is on the trail.
As I was leaving camp, two male section hikers happened to intersect me at the trail. I said hello and all to be nice. He told me his name was Hobbit. Hobbit asked me when I had begun the trail, and I answered honestly that I began February 18th. He did the math and said, “Oh, taking it really slow. That’s okay, some people need to do that.” Irritated, I said, “Yes, well, I have a bad ankle injury that I’m trying to recover, so that is a big hindrance.” Then, he said, “Well, can I offer you some advice?” At this point, your female hiker radar guard should be shouting ‘RED ALERT! RED ALERT! ABORT MISSION! GET OUT OF THERE ASAP SOLDIER!’ which it definitely was, but I had never turned down advice before, so instead of saying ‘no’ like I know I should have, I did the polite thing and said, “Sure.” He said, “You really need to lower your base weight. Especially with that ankle. I’m guessing your pack is around 50 lbs. That’s a lot of stress on your ankle. You should really aim for around 12 lbs.” Okay, now there is a good number of things I could say about this man and his advice, but that would be a lot of opinion type HYOH talk. I’m going to go this route:
Hypothetically, let’s say my pack does weigh 50 lbs and let’s say his weighs 12 lbs.
Weight – 146 lbs
Paxley – 50 lbs
Total weight on ankle – 196 lbs
Weight – probably 280 lbs
Pack – 12 lbs
Total weight on ankle – 292 lbs
My ankle is still receiving 96 lbs LESS than Hobbit’s ankle, even though, my pack is 50 lbs… Have I made my point yet?
It doesn’t matter what your base weight is when you are still carrying an extra 75 lbs in body fat!
Boss, Vapor, Nooner, and I got a room at the Budget Inn in Hiawassee.
That night, we went to Monte Alban for Nooner’s 35th birthday!
Thanks for joining me on Expedition Elizabeth!