Day 6 - Benton MacKaye Trail

 

Leaving our lovely campsite at Hatley Gap was tough, but we had to get moving.  Our first climb of the day was Fowler Mountain, which has five peaks, followed by Flat Top Mountain, which used to have a fire tower.  This part of the day went quickly, mostly because there wasn't much to look at. Our guidebook stated we'd have a few views this morning, but we never saw any.

 

Our hike from Flat Top was down a combination of old roadbed and steep trail.  When we reached the bottom at Dyer Gap, the trail turned into a combination of horse and hiking trail.  It was buggy, muddy, and kind of nasty walking due to all the erosion.  At the end of the combination trail was the northern terminus of the Pinhotti Trail that runs from Alabama.  It was kind of a weird place to end it, in the middle of two other trails!  From here, we began walking on the old roads that would make up the remainder of our day.

 

 Pinhotti Trail North Terminus. 

Pinhotti Trail North Terminus. 

 

When we reached the place we wanted to camp, we discovered no water and no campsite (no surprise!) and began walking until we could find one.  After going about 3 more miles I spotted a small fire ring someone made on the side of the old road and we set up camp pretty much right in the middle of the trail.  We did 17.7 miles and were spent.  Tomorrow we hit the TN state line!

 

 Wilderness area is great! 

Wilderness area is great! 

Of a different note, we saw a mule train today!  About 10-12 covered wagons filled with good Ol boys riding up the mountain drinkin beer, all while being pulled by mules!  Can't say I've ever seen that before...