Day 22 & 23 Sassafras Gap Shelter on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Monday 01 May
Tuesday 02 May

Distance: 10.97km

Elevation levels according to Guthook app: total ascent 974.6m, total descent 177.1m

Mountains climbed: Swim Bald 4710 ft 


Started the day with a big breakfast at Rivers End Restaurant at Nantahala Outdoor Centre, this was much awaited. Tried the biscuits and gravy, they were okay.

Decided to stay at the Nantahala Dogwood Motel for the night, after the Budget Inn I didn’t want to stay at the Hostel .
There wasn’t a lot of choice when it came to resupplying, but only need a few days till I pass through Fontana Dam Village, where I will take a shuttle into Robbinsville to resupply.

I am going to increase the number of miles I do everyday which means I have had to look at how I can shave time off meals along with less meal weight to make the walking easier. 

As an aside I am over Knorr pasta and rice ugh I just can’t stand another such meal!

If I had the extra month which I originally thought I had before the visa confusion, I would be right on track and able to continue as I have been. 

Sitting here packed and waiting for the sun to come up feeling melancholy over the fact I may not see some of the hikers I’ve come to know and I’ve bonded with. However if I want to make it to the end I will have to do what I have to do – besides, they will probably pass me on the way to the next shelter.

Well that was short lived! I had everything ready and sat in the common room to wait for the sun to come up and realised I left my trekking poles in the room along with my key! Great 😒

Oh well, guess that means I’m going for breakfast, will print off my smokies pass and end up at the Sassafras shelter with everyone else today.


There are butterflies and new flowers everywhere, spring is definitely here and in full force, its stunning.

The walk up to the shelter was another steady climb. It is as if Georgia is preparing you for North Carolina. The endless up is definitely sapping!


And just when you think it is all over and you have come to a rise….no it’s just a switchback and you still have to keep climbing.


But as always, the views take your breath away and you momentarily forget about the sore feet and swollen ankles.

Have something good to eat for dinner, get a good night sleeps and you are excited about starting out the next day. 😊

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