Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
Since it was time for us to slow our roll, we slept in.
There were a few climbs in the morning before we started hiking down to Fall Branch waterfall. I nearly got run over by a high speed mountain biker on the way there, and made a pit stop to inhale a McDouble and some Doritos.
We enjoyed the falls for a minute and then took the trail to the road.
We’d be road walking for a while. There was a turkey creeping in the grass and a lot of interesting and funny signage on the way.
We stopped at Iron Bridge General Store and Cafe for a very long lunch break, coffee, and to charge our electronics. We did a good deal of loitering, watching the people come and go. Some people were making a pit stop to eat, others were parking across the street to go tubing down the river.
We crossed the bridge over the river and watched a number of people floating down. I scratched my head and had to laugh nervously when I saw a inner tube floating without anyone in it. We never saw anyone as we walked along, so hopefully they got to shore okay and took the road back. We walked by some residential homes with more interesting signage before making a climb with Appalachian Trail-style ‘vert’. It was a steep one!
We passed a fire tower, but the stairs were removed to keep people from climbing it. Bummer.
We took a water break at Garland Gap since there would be limited H2O availability the rest of the hike. After a few more climbs, we made it to our final stop at mile 262.6 at Payne Gap.
We set up shop, bushwhacked down hill to fill up on some water, then hopped in the tent. We heard some bizarre noises overnight. We thought it might be a boar. It was the same noise that disturbed us when we entered Eglin Air Force Base property on the Florida Trail. After a lot of Googling animal noises, we found out it was something much less exciting. it was just a deer barking.
19.6 miles (31.5 km)