Unicoi, TN

4/13 Spivey Gap to Indian Grave Gap (19.5 miles) 
Bevo and I slackpacked today so we could spend another night with Rob. After we dropped off Brief Thief and Stitch at their trailhead (they also slackpacked, but southbound since they were a little ahead of us on the trial). We had a short up and down in the morning into Erwin, TN, but had a pretty cool view of a river on our walk down.

Bevo and I had some great conversations about life, income redistribution, and my theory on how we measure the trail.  Currently, most thru hikers measure the trail in terms of miles, but I think that fails to capture the larger nuances of the trail (particularly elevation gain). For example, the north is widely considered more difficult because there aren’t many switchbacks up mountains. Since we just look at how many miles we have gone, the halfway point is at around 1,100 miles, even though the second half will be harder than the first. I dreamed up “secret agent units” which would capture this nuance. I  have not thought through exactly how they would work, but it would include distance, elevation, and trail conditions. I doubt this will ever move past my theorizing, but it was a fun way to pass the time on the trail.

We ate lunch at the hostel right off the trail, where I bought a small container of olive oil. I plan to try out the “add as much olive oil as you can stand to your food” theory to get extra calories (and some nutrients) without too much weight.  The trail does a good job using the local bridges for our larger river crossings.


After lunch there was a good climb that Bevo and I just powered up. We were both panting at the top, but it felt really good at the top. We called Rob to pick us up when we were about 3.5 miles away. We were running a little late, and I had predicted that we could get there only 10 minutes late. It required a little bit of a jog for the last .1 miles, but we did make it there only 10 minutes late. We were treated by trail magic of brownies, banana bread and drinks, which were a great end to the day. There were some guys at the trail magic ordering Pizza Hut, one of the benefits of camping near a town.

We went to Hooters for all you can eat wings. It was my first time in a Hooters since high school, but the 30 wings were tasty after a long day hike.

I am sad that we are going to be leaving Rob’s place, but it has been a great two days here.

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One thought on “Unicoi, TN

  1. Nice descriptions Jamie! Welcome to NC – glad you are having fun, mostly. Had a nice visit w your mother while she was checking on your Grandfather. Good luck! Sandy in Chapel Hill.

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