Neel Gap, GA, Saturday March 1, 2015 — Beep – beep – beep – beep. That’s the sound of your friendly hiker garbage man backing out of a shelter with his pack full of detritus others have left behind.
When I staggered into the hostel at Neel Gap with ten pounds of junk. The most galling was the four liters of frozen water.
Seems some folks didn’t realize that you take your water bottle to bed with you when it’s freezing outside at night. So they left the frozen water behind for yours truly to haul thirty miles to the nearest trash receptacle. That’s not to mention the other junk in the photo.
This really isn’t a complaint. That’s why we are here, to help the hikers understand how to do the right thing. When they don’t, we remove the trash before it can serve as a bad example to others.
We also remove blowdown. Sawing keeps you warm, believe me.
In the morning the snow reminds me of a stiff starched white shirt. Sort of crunchy when you put it on. The weather is turning so by noon the snow is as limp as that same starched white shirt on a Georgia summer day. Today the slush was three inches deep with about an inch of water as a top coat.
Tomorrow the forecast is for rain. That’ll remove the snow and slush, but only by turning the trail into a river in the process.
Throughout all of this, the hikers seem intrepid. After all, they’ve come 50 miles. Maine can’t be far ahead.