Birch Glen Lodge has a severe building problem. The huge log beam across the porch area is about 5’8″ high. It’s a head clunker. Hit my head last night and this morning. Only plus is that it’s a round log and has no corners. The door at Taft Lodge is about the same height. Hit my head on that once. Still have the scab as a reminder to duck.
We are all up and eating by 7:30. Sherman and I are the last to hit the trail at 9. The hikers two nights ago said the trail to App Gap was pretty easy and a long downhill.
We’ll, we start south and immediately start steeply up.
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The map shows 3 small mountains. They look like nothing compared to the Camel. Hello! There were big tough scrambles up and down on the way to App Gap. I planned 3 hours and it takes us 2.5. We get there at 11:30. Bob is due to pick us up at 12.
There are three main types of rock on the trails so far. Granite. Schist. Milky Quartz. They are all different to walk on.
The granite is ok to walk on when it’s at 30 degrees or less and IF the rock AND your shoes are dry. If either are wet it’s very slick. This is what I’ve slipped on mostly. North of Eden this was 90% of the rock on the trails.

(The other slippery thing is tree roots that are polished shiny smooth by thousands of shoes and or hands. )
The schist is a metamorphic rock where the mineral grains are aligned in layers. The mineral grains make the surface rough and safe to walk on wet or dry. It doesn’t matter which direction the veins of the rock run. It’s still not slippery.
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Notice the white blazes? This is the mark that the trail goes up here.
Both rocks are occasionally veined by milky quartz. Scattered through both areas are chunks of milky quartz. Some the size of baseballs. Some the size of foot stools. Unless the quartz crystals are pointed upward creating a pronged matt this is slick like glass.

As I came down Camel’s Hump, the granite began to be mixed back in with the schist and I need to be aware of which rock I’m stepping on. Sherman runs up and down both with ease.
It’s a windy cold day at The Gap. Chris comes to pick us up and says it’s a nice warm day in Bristol and Bob started glazing to load a kiln. We’re talking about 10 miles and 1200 feet of elevation. Warm and pleasant down. Cold and windy up.
We’re ready for a day off before we do the App Gap to Lincoln Gap rumble.