Saturday, May 18th, 2019
We had a view of Terrapin Creek and a few good climbs in the morning.
I stopped by Oakley Mountain Shelter to sign the register before I found myself cruising along the Chief Ladiga Rail Trail. Given all of the bushwhacking we’ve been doing lately, this stretch was greatly appreciated!
We’d re-enter the woods before it spit us out on CR-70 at Maxwell Gap. We managed to get a quick hitch into Piedmont, AL by a woman named Belinda, and her cute and sassy little old lady of a mother. They were very familiar with the Pinhoti Trail, so they had no worries over picking us up. Belinda flew down the road, waving to the cars as they passed us. She was clearly very familiar with the area and its inhabitants. They were on their way to help set up their family reunion which was being held at a church on the way to town.
“I hope you two don’t mind if I stop at the church on the way. I need to drop off a few things, including my mother.”
We were in no rush and Belinda was doing us a solid favor by driving us to begin with, so of course we didn’t mind. The family was incredibly friendly and came out to greet us. They all told us we were more than welcome to stop by to join them when we made our way back. Several members of the family told us that they would make sure we got fed if we did! This was one offer I’d later regret not taking. They were a really nice bunch.
We got dropped off at the Dollar General Market to get our resupply, then we walked to China Doll Chinese Restaurant where there was a grubbing Chinese buffet. On our walk back to Dollar General, we saw Spacejam at McDonald’s. He hitched into Piedmont yesterday and got a room for the night, but hiked further along the trail than we had before catching a ride. All three of us were in the same place, but he was technically further along than we were, so we hitched back without him so we could catch up. He was going to meet up with us later.
After having no luck hitching by the road next to Dollar General, Frisbee walked up to a lady who was walking back to her car and asked if she would be willing to take two stinky thru hikers back to the trailhead. Her name was Jane and she was very hesitant to take us, but decided to do so as long as we agreed to put our belongings in the trunk. She was concerned about weapons and her safety. She had lived in the area her whole life and told us a little history about the area before we reached our destination. She was kind enough to offer us water that she had stored in the trunk, which we politely turned down. We had filled up our bottles in town and there were more water sources coming up ahead.
We had to trudge through a lot of poison ivy, so much that we couldn’t even see the trail. We also had a couple steep climbs before we reached Davis Mountain Shelter. Spacejam was already there, comfortably sitting in chair by the overlook.
There were wasps in the shelter, and the boys were determined to eradicate them so we could sleep inside. Frisbee rushed in to grab the chairs and then returned to knock down one of the nests. Spacejam suited up and finished the job, knocking down all three nests that remained.
We later decided not to sleep in there, just in case there were any wasps still lingering around. At least the shelter was safe and sound for future hikers. Well done fellas.
It sounded like a high speed chase was occurring down the mountain as we sat around to wait for the sunset.
Once the sun went down, we pitched the tent and admired the red moon up in the sky. Per usual, the whippoorwills sang their little hearts out the whole night through.
18.0 miles (29.0 km)