A.T. Challenge-Garenflo Gap to Tanyard Gap

A.T.thruHotSprings-Irises

On a beautiful Monday, the A.T. Challenge four (Lenny, Tish, Sawako and me) walked from Garenflo Gap to Tanyard Gap – 12.5 miles and 2,800 feet of ascent.

This section had two parts – from Garenflo Gap to Hot Springs and from Hot Springs to Tanyard.

A.T.thruHotSprings-BluffMt On the first climb from Garenflo Gap, it felt like Bluff Mountain was following us.

We had climbed it the previous week and we could now see it from the trail. It looked more formidable than when we climbed it.

Wildflowers were still the star attractions. But there was a perceptible change. Last week, trout lilies were in abundance. On this hike, it was all about crested-dwarf irises, the flowers shown on top. In the morning, the flowers were still wet and droopy. By the afternoon, they had perked up.

A.T.thruHotsprings-GraggcemeteryWe passed the Gregg Cemetery, a two-grave cemetery. George Gregg had a professionally engraved headstone while Eva’s headstone looked like it was scratched in with a knife. Eva died in 1940 while George died in 1966. Maybe there was more money by then.

We descended into Hot Springs.A.T.thruHotsprings-Me A few long-distance hikers were still milling around. Better get back on the trail, folks. We had a hard time ourselves. We ate lunch on a bench on Main Street. Then we went around the corner to the ArtiSungallery for ice cream.

The climb out of Hot Springs to Lovers Leap was more than a 1,000 feet in a mile or so. Up, up, up. We ended up at Mill Pond and we knew that we were almost back at the cars. It was a long day.

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