Woke up this morning to news that everyone else camped at Jarrard Gap had their food stolen overnight by bears. Not us. Our food was up the hill 200 feet away, still hanging where we left it. The bear had pushed over the tree that had everyone's food on it. I thought I heard something last night. A guy tried to scare the bear off by lighting some white gas. He said it did scare the bear, but only for a few minutes. !! What? Ok, so we shared some hot cocoa and oatmeal with them this morning. Top Banana tried to off load her jar of peanut butter on them but someone else beat her to the punch!
Hike to the top of Blood Mountain was not hard. There were switchbacks but the grade was moderate. Top of Blood Mountain was awesome--great views--and a fun rock to climb on. The Blood Mountain cabin was old and spooky. Then we hiked down the mountain. Holy Giant Rocks Batman! The North Side of Blood Mountain does Not mess around. Serious business. You've been warned.
We reached Neel's Gap around 1pm. Top Banana's Dad + Kathleen arrived and LoneRanger, Prof.Oak and Top Banana took off with Dad to get the cars from Amicalola. Kathleen + I + the Scouties stayed and entertained ourselves for a few hours. (It took a while for them to get back because: Funeral Procession!) I bought some new boots (1 year in the Alps, 3 years in Florida and one trip down Blood Mountain is the lifespan of a pair of Merrels, I guess), AquaMira, a new spork (my other one succumed to the night of horrible conditions on Hawk Mountain) and alcohol for my stove. That's right, I'm switching to: chemical water treatment and a practically weightless stove-setup.
Back at the Hobbit Hole we had a wonderful (!!!) dinner of cheeseburgers and salad. We recapped the highlights and lowlights of the trip. General consensus: Highlights--everything. Lowlights--walking uphill and rain at Hawk Mountain.
I resupplied and resorted my gear with the help of a few of the Scouts. Mostly they jumped around and I told them to Not Touch My Food! (which is mainly Snickers bars. They are tempting).
The girls took showers and went to bed around 11. We are going in different directions in the morning.