It doesn’t take long to learn how to hike.
After a night at the hostel, I decided to skip the 8 mike approach hike to the start line, opting instead to take the task head. This entails repeating one mile but saves a day. 30ft from the start of the true hike, I bent a hiking pole. Turns out I had it extended too far, so that was a quick fix. Then I screwed up arrow reading and missed the first shelter, so my initial 8 miles turned into 10.5. Found a camp site and settled in. My water management was poor and I was thirsty. Food and water quickly becomes very important to your day. Luckily, there were some truck ruts with dirty water. My filter made quick work of it and I was happy. Food is weird the first few days. It was tough to eat enough… Just didn’t feel it.
But that just meant that day two was that much shorter.
Day 2 was relatively easy, 5ish miles and the first time in a shelter with a lot of other campers.
Day 3 was cold, windy and rainy all day and put us into Lance Creek. The rain stopped just after we got our tents up. Then it fired again and kept up all night and through most of today. It’s tedious packing up a at tent. All my clothes are wet from rain or sweat.
Day 4 (today) was for me the hardest day so far. Rainy, but not too cold, Blood Mountain was tall, rocky and mucky, wet leaves and swampy feet all day.
But it brought us to Neel Gap, Ga. It’s our first shower, food, laundry and inside sleeping since we started. Everyone is pretty ecstatic. Frozen pizza were flying out of the ovens, making everyone giddy. 4 lemonades, a pizza and a cupcake later, we are all warm and dry. Tomorrow starts 3ish days to Haiawasee. Rumor had it that we might see the sun for the first time!
(Slowly adding pics to the Flickr feed below the map.)