Jump to main content

Santa Barbara Hikes

Photos from Neel Gap on the Appalachian Trail

Albums IndexPhotos from Neel Gap on the Appalachian Trail

Click on a picture to switch to a navigable, next/previous type page with a larger picture.
Click on a ↓ to expand a caption.

In the fall of 2005 Tony and I visited Atlanta because Tony had a job interview there. He didn't take the job, even though it was offered. We didn't like Atlanta much.

However, we did take a side trip to see the mountains of North Georgia. We did like the mountains. This slide show is of Neel Gap, a spot along the Appalachian trail that has a really cool store that sort of reminds me of Cold Springs Tavern with hiking stuff.

This is the store. It's quite a happening place on weekends. Motorcycle riders come up here. They have blue grass and barbecue. Lots of tourists, day hikers, backpackers and thru-hikers stop by.
Looking toward Maine.
Here I am.
Inside the store the walls are covered with mementos from people who have hiked through. This is a prosthetic leg from one Appalachian Trail hiker.
Here are photos of people who made it to Maine.
More Appalachian trail hikers.
Lots of people sent letters which were also tacked on to the walls all over the store.
There was a freezer full of Ben&Jerry's ice cream...
A whole nook of the store was socked to the cieling with all the snack foods you'll ever crave on a long hike.

Besides food, they also had a lot of really nice gear for sale as well as really cool T-shirts with funny hiking slogans.

After browsing the store, we drove half a mile down the road to a trailhead to do a "blue blazer" hike.

The Appalachian trail itself is marked with white blazes. Side-trails leading into towns and roads are marked with blue blazes. There is one other kind of Appalachian trail hiking--yellow blazing. Following the yellow lines of the highway.

Autumn was just beginning. The leaves were starting to turn. Everyone said we should wait a week or two and it would be like Vermont.
Here's a map at the trailhead of the trails in the area. Our goal was Blood Mountain but I can't see it on this map.
Here I am at the Wilderness boundary. It's not like the Wilderness in our area. It was like hiking Rattlesnake trail.
I think that was our goal: Blood Mountain.
Here's the shelter at the summit of Blood Mountain. All backpackers must sleep in these shelters. The trouble is, most of the Appalachian trail is only a few miles from roads so these shelters are often very crowded with boyscouts, weekenders and day hikers and you are not allowed to sleep in tents. Basically, the Appalachian Trail is not a get-away-from-it-all experience.
Here I am at the shelter.
Inside the shelter. It's quite sparse.
Some rules posted inside the shelter.
A summit rock suitable for sitting and enjoying the summit and the view. There were probably 30 unrelated people up here.
The vegetation in Georgia is pretty thick and tangled.
Here's a view out toward the East of a mountain peak. Not sure which. It was quite hazy on this day. There were clouds moving in and out all day.
We stopped to admire this interesting anomaly.
Autumn leaves. Apparently the pitting and mottling is due to acid rain.
The trail was pretty all strewn with red leaves.
Autumn leaves against the sky.
Tony at a different trail head than where we started. We sort of made a loop out of it.
A marker on a boulder for the trail. We are across the street now from Neel Gap and the store.
What's a trip to the deep south without grits? This is Tony enjoying some grits at the Waffle House in probably the most depressing town I've ever stayed at. Cornelia. I felt very sorry for the women working at the places we visited in Cornelia. It seemed like they all had hard lives. I snuck them extra tip money when Tony wasn't looking.