Neels Gap, according to a beautifully carved trail sign, was 11.3 miles to Neels Gap, but 10.8 according to the guidebooks. Who knows? The big summits for the day were Big Cedar and Blood Mountain, the tallest peak on the Georgia section of the trail. We hiked most of the day with Funky Stuff, who, as the name may suggest, is one chilled out mofo. He's doing some ultralight backpacking. His shelter is a tarp. He has no stove (he baked a bunch of these flat cake thingys that we call Funky Flapjacks). He has kind blue eyes and keeps a good, consistent pace.
We had some great views from Preacher's Rock and Blood Mountain itself. We were dreading the day a bit, but it turned out to feel pretty good. I don't think we have trail legs yet, but definitely getting stronger. However, the last 2.4 miles off of Blood Mountain were horrible. Some fellow hikers thought so too, since there are many shortcuts across switchbacks that are severely deteriorating sections of the trail.
Tonight, with Escape and Funky Stuff, we are staying in a Blood Mountain Cabin, a glorious promised land with pizzas, warm showers and the owners even do your laundry for you!
It's only been four days, but a shower and a bed are greatly cherished.
*Our cabin's laundry bag Tyler's steps: 30,049 Emily's steps: 34,003