The Game Changah!
Today started out a little earlier than day 2 but we thought we might get afternoon rain. Add to that the fact that we wanted to see if the Tococca Riverside Restaurant was open and we were motivated to move! We were walking out of camp and found that just a tenth of a mile further was a campsite covered in lady slippers! The first part of our day was overcast, but uneventful. We spent most of the morning following horseshoe prints down to the gap at Route 60. We ran into some day hikers at the gap and figured we would see them again. By now it was 12:30 and hot. We had two mountains to climb and the first was rough but we met more day hikers at the top. They said we had an easy 5 miles to the road but we knew we still had to climb Brawley Mountain to the fire tower. We got to the top in the searing sun and 90-degree temps to find that the tower wasn't accessible and the view was dismal. We had mostly downhill walking from here, following a few old roadbeds. We reached Dial Gap very quickly and began our first long road walk of the hike. We reached the Tococca River and found out the restaurant was indeed open!!
We went into this incredibly nice restaurant smelling awful and looking even worse. This place is NICE and we were out of place. We went in and asked if we could sit on their patio and these people couldn't have been nicer! They took our packs and put them away so we could enjoy our dinner. We both got huge fried chicken dinners with mashed potatoes and green beans, the chicken smothered in country gravy! We also had spicy fried pickles and I polished off a peach cobbler. This meal was a huge game changer.
By now, it's 5:15 and we have 3.9 miles of road walking to the next place we could get into the forest and camp. This walk was long and hot, but we got it done by 6:30. We camped just upstream from Fall Branch Falls. It was beautiful, secluded, and quiet! We took hiker baths and did hiker laundry with our Dr Bronners and had an amazing night surrounded by fireflies in the North Georgia Woods. We pulled 18.7 miles today and our feet were feeling it!