Monthly Archives: April 2014

Day 5 – Blue Mtn to Deep Gap Shelter

Happy Easter, y’all. What a great day. It was beautiful and sunny and warm all day on the trail. Hopefully it’s this nice back in PA. We put it around 16 miles today and it was easily our best day. It started early with some “trail magic”, where locals leave goodies near roads for thru-hikers.

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How awesome is that? I annihilated these in 5 seconds…

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Then we summitted Rocky Mtn, which had some nice views.

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Then we summitted Tray Mtn…

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which had some similarly cool vistas.

The day was tough with a lot of constant elevation change. Surprisingly the toughest climb was called Kelly Knob at the end of the day.

Since we’re now a good 16 miles ahead of schedule we’re taking a “near-o” day tomorrow – near zero mileage. We’re hiking about 3 or 4 miles to get a shuttle in to the Blueberry Patch Hostel, where our 2nd maildrop, a bed, laundry machines, showers, and other delicious amenities (omg pizza pizza pizzzzzzzzzaaaaaa) await.

Vital stats:
Mood – awesome
Physical state – sore but good
Smell – smoky (lit first campfire this evening)
Song stuck in my head – Happy body slow mind – Move at different speeds (on the road)

Day 4 – Cowrock Mtn to Blue Mtn

Had a very rainy night and morning. The tarp dripped a little during the downpour, which was annoying but not a big deal. I’ll have to reseal the seams when I can get some silicone sealant. The hike today was mostly off and on rain and mist…

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Cowrock Mountain in the mist

For the most part the hike was a little easier today with no major climbs. We mostly hiked along the side of some fairly steep mountains and ridges.

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We ended up hiking about 14.5 miles and called it a day. Tomorrow looks tougher with two pretty big climbs early on with Rocky Mountain and Tray Mountain, which are both close to Blood Mountain in elevation between 4000-4500 feet.

Day 3 – Henry Gap to near Cowrock Mtn

We hiked about 11 miles today and called it an early day to not over exert this early on. We summitted Blood Mountain this morning and the blood spewed every which way (still kidding Mom). The views were awesome but it was kind of overcast.

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We hiked down into Neel’s Gap where there is a hiking outfitter called Mountain Crossings. We got our first maildrop which has food for the next 4 days or so. We also grabbed a hot shower there for the low price of $3.75 a person, which is good because my oniony smell was only getting oniony-er. I don’t know what kind of fried atrocity I’m going to smell like when it’s hot. We hiked another couple miles out of there in some light rain and then found a good spot and decided to pitch the tarp and call it a day since the rain appears to be getting not better. We’re a good 6 or 7 miles ahead of our plan after 3 days.

Vital stats:
Mood – rockin’ out
Smell – reasonable for Georgia
Physical state – not bad considering BLOOD MOUNTAIN
Song stuck in my head – Mr. Brightside by The Killers

Day 2 – Cooper gap to Henry gap

Very cold and windy this morning, but the day warmed up and was really nice by lunch.

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We had some nice sights today of the Georgia mountains…

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We met some Georgia AT trail maintainers (Bob and Jan) and helped them carry some tools back to their house just off the trail. They let us camp on their property and offered us access to their water and wifi, which was really nice and random. We are in the Blood Mountain Wilderness area…

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Today we hiked around 13 miles total and we’re feeling tired but good. Tomorrow we hike Blood Mountain, the tallest peak in GA. That’s appropriate because there is a lot of blood pouring out of my ears (just kidding Mom).

Vital stats:
Mood – positive
Physical state – healthy
Smell – oniony
Song stuck in my head – mostly that annoying “happy” song by Pharell

Day 1 – Springer mtn to Cooper Gap

Finally got started today after a big breakfast at the Amicalola Falls lodge. We signed as thru hikers #1187 and 1188. We drove up a potholed forest service road with Ma and Pa Heiser to the parking lot that’s about 0.9 miles north from Springer. We backtracked the 0.9 miles to the Springer summit, snapped a few pics,¬† then turned around and began the enormous journey to Katahdin in Maine.

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Blaze #1

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It felt great to be headed in the right direction. The day was mostly uneventful with a few minor climbs. The scenery is pretty cool but not that different from PA. Thankfully it’s not rocky like PA though.

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We did about 12.3 miles plus the extra .9 from the backtracking and called it a day fairly early, around 6pm or so. We saw a bunch of other thru hikers today, but not as many as we thought we’d see. There was a little older lady thru hiking who we briefly chatted with who was hauling probably 50 or 60 lbs of packweight that we zoomed by. I really hope she makes it.

It’s pretty cold and windy in camp tonight, so hopefully we stay warm enough. No cell or data signal here so I’ll have to upload this later.

Day -1 & 0

We’re in Amicalola Falls right now after a mostly uneventful 2 day drive down to Georgia. We saw a pickup truck completely engulfed in flames on Monday on 81 N (people all appeared to be safe). I suppose that is the danger of eating Taco Bell for both breakfast and  lunch. Anyway,  the weather is windy and cold, but looks great to start hiking tomorrow morning.

Vital stats:
Mood – super excited
Smell – so fresh and so clean
Song stuck in my head – Fitz and the Tantrums – Out of my league

Almost here

It’s almost go-time. We finished up our last training hike today (~10.25 miles with full pack weight at Port Clinton going southbound). The first mail drop was shipped to Georgia yesterday. Monday morning we’re driving down to near Blacksburg, Virginia, then Tuesday it’s on to¬†Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia, where the southern terminus of the trail is on Springer Mountain. Wednesday morning it’s officially on. Can’t wait to get started!

Gear – water

Here’s what we use to sanitize our water out on the trail. It uses UV to kill potential nasty junk in the water. I’ve been tempted to switch over to a Sawyer mini-squeeze filter, but this guy has done the trick in the past, so we’re going to start with it at least.

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