Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 12 to 13

A CABIN IN THE WOODS. After walking twelve miles in the rain yesterday Lighthouse, Stick bug, and myself(Simba) packed into a shelter loaded with twelve other freezing, wet hikers. This was my first night actually sleeping in a shelter. I do not recommend these at all. Everyone snores really loud and everybody's sleeping pads crackle with every move.    
     The thunder woke everyone up the next morning. A fellow hiker named Walk Hard had a thermometer that read thirty-nine degrees. So not only was it storming but it was nearly freezing outside. Of the fifteen hikers in the shelter only six of us were stupid enough to not take a zero(a day were zero miles are hiked). After a long discussion we decided to walk only 7 miles in the freezing rain to Stecoah Gap where a lady named Donna would pick us up. The six of us split a "cabin" for 15 bucks each. Mrs. Donna took care of us and allowed us to shower and do a load of clothes. It rained all day and we just sat talking about nothing and listening to Lighthouse play guitar. Overall a pretty cold, boring day but heck it sure beats a day at work.

  Oh yeah and my crazy parents and I had miscommunication and forgot to mail my mail drop. There was no chance it would make it in time so they drove all the way from Albany to Robbinsville, NC to deliver it and a few pizzas for the other hikers and me. I think they miss me a little too much :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 3

Woke up at Woody gap and took our time headed out and enjoyed a big breakfast.

Day 2

  The rain woke us by smacking the tin roof of the shelter around 7 am. Before the morning fog could fade Jess, Blue, and I set off with no real goal in mind(1). After about 4 miles and a bum knee,  Blue(who I failed to mention is a guitar carrying traveler) had to tell Jess and I to continue with out him. Usually it wouldn't be so bad leaving someone but Blue is one of those people that just keeps everything so interesting.
   Now I was out front setting the pace just cranking up and down hills, hitting countless switchbacks (imagine a "z" up the mountain), and then conquering Sassafras Mtn and Justus Mtn. All of this within about 6 miles.
   Right after Justus Mtn we came to Cooper Gap(2) which is a decent little camp ground near a road. Ill go ahead and inform you all since I had no idea when I started that a ”gap" is just where a road or path passes low and in between two parts of the trail. Anyways, Jess and I were exhausted after hiking a tad over 10 miles by noon so we chose to enjoy lunch and take a break at this gap. Probably 50 ft from us was a dirt road intersection where there was a decent flow of traffic. Well a decent flow for a dirt road anyways. I boil me some Easy Mac and chills literally run down my spine they were so delicious. Next thing you know sliding uncontrollably these two pick up trucks came to a stop. ”What’s happenin guys?!” yells Blue running arms open wide carrying a huge smile on his face. He had hitchhiked from Hightower shortly from where we left him and was headed to a nearby town. His plan was to stay at the hostile and have them shuttle him to Woody Gap in the morning. We let him know we'd camp at the gap and hike with him.
   Not too much to say about the next few miles as they were pretty easy. Probably the only exciting part was that everyone was getting a kick out of Gooch Shelter because of it's name.
   After an 18.3 we finally made it to Woody Gap(3) around 6. The camp sites here were wonderful mainly because they had an actual bathroom with a toilet with toilet paper. After setting up camp I just mingled around with a bunch of people until sunset which I have noticed is when everyone goes to bed. We all said our good nights and were of to bed. ”RIIICCCOOLLA!!!" comes Blue hobbling from the woods with a different plan in mind. This guy is full of surprises including a pizza and a 12 pack of beer to share of course. The three of us just chit chat for hours having a great time before bed.

Day 1

   If I were to do it again I will avoid the Approach Trail and the steps of AFSP. It was brutal. In three days I have passed Blood Mtn and and in my opinion the Approach Trail has by far been the worst.
   Day One: A guy named Blue introduced himself at the visitor center of the Amicalola Falls State Park as well as a girl named Paisley. Both offered me the opportunity to walk with some group. I was so ready to go that I kindly declined. I really wanted to do the first part to Springer alone. After leaving around 8:30 am I made it 8.8 miles to the top of  Springer Mtn by about 12. I figured I would wait there until Blue and his group made it. Never saw them. Instead a girl and guy, Jess and Mike came along. We took off after about 3 hours on top of Springer. We reached Stover Creek Shelter(below) by 4 pm so Jess and I set up camp as Mike kept walking. We should've kept going because we were BORED. Everyone was in the shelter headed to bed at dark and we hear this belting ”RIIICOLLAAA” coming from the woods. Out comes the guy Blue I was talking about earlier. They call him that because he wears blue and plays the blues. Pretty simple, huh? Him being there completely changed the morale of the place. Blue, Jess, and I stayed up a few more hours talking about our first day. Then it was nighty night time.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The first time my parents got to see what I'll be sleeping in. I think my mom was excited And no it's not just a tarp :). I'll share the rest later.


Get used to this shirt. I will be wearing it in most of these posts. haha