A Couple Post Hike Day Thoughts

Post Trail Days 1 – 3

We summited Springer, hiked down Amicalola Falls, stayed at the Amicalola Falls Lodge and started making our way to Atlanta. We got some information for shuttle drivers from the FarOut app. We ended up booking with Brett a former thru-hiker. Brett was prompt and very passionate about the trail. He and Eric talked the entire ride to Gainesville, GA. We booked a greyhound bus ticket from Gainesville to Atlanta, the closest major city.

It was a Saturday so the bus was very crowded. New York was the origin location so some of the travelers had been on this bus since yesterday. It was a big shock getting on a crowded bus and fighting for a seat. We knew these shocks would be coming especially since we were going to a major city but the crowded bus wasn’t something we were anticipating. Luckily one of the nice passengers moved seats so we could sit together and the ride was only a little over an hour.

We arrived in Atlanta and it was so strange to be in a city. While we had taken a mini vacation in DC on trail, knowing that we would be back on trail helped us cope with the shocking environment change. Atlanta is a large city and it was our first time visiting. We had plans to hang out in the city for a couple days and just relax. We spent time walking around and of course eating. We enjoyed some great burgers at Vortex and some amazing southern food at Mary Mac’s. We walked through Olympic Park and Georgia Tech University.

We got rained in one day and visited the gym in the hotel…now that was a strange experience. Eric was brave and went for his first run on the treadmill. Hayley’s feet are still pretty sore so she opted for the elliptical. It is just so strange getting used to the physical changes from the trail. We are so much stronger and more capable in some ways but not in others. We spent a lot of time stretching and attempting some yoga. We are just trying to take things slow and readjust.

We did enjoy some of the local restaurants but we also made some food in our room. Going to a grocery store and readjusting our mindset was also strange. We blew past the pasta sides and ramen and headed for the fresh produce. We bought real milk instead of powdered. Tuna packets and peanut butter, no thanks. We didn’t have to constantly check the ounces of each item. It was very freeing to have so many food options.

The weather in Atlanta was very enjoyable (minus the rain), we enjoyed our time in the city. We did have many moments where we were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the city. Buildings towering over us, cars everywhere, store fronts and restaurants blasting music. Luckily the crowds were not too bad, the size of the city spreads out the people so you aren’t constantly walking into them. It also seems like a lot of people drive in the city, the sidewalks didn’t seem crowded. We did get to see some Atlanta pride, the Falcons were playing the Steelers in town. It was fun to see people enjoying themselves. We will say the Steelers fans are loyal, there was just as much black and gold in the city as their was red. We enjoyed spending time observing these moments in a life that used to be very similar to the one we were living.

These immediate post hike days were a bit of a strange dream. We felt the same but different. We didn’t have that all consuming purpose that a thru-hike gives you. We spent time relaxing and exploring a big city which we had never been before. Eric looked through our thousands of photos and we played a lot of “what was your favorite…” or “remember when…”

We have enjoyed seeing many of the SOBO hikers reaching the southern terminus through social media or on the Trek.  We are also enjoying seeing the 2023 hikers making their announcements on the Trek.  Amazing that NOBO thru-hiker season starts in a few short months.  With a pang of jealously, we wish all the upcoming hikers well.

We will continue our journey back to normalcy and likely make some more posts reviewing the gear we used and the advice we would give prospective thru-hikers. Again we want to say how much we appreciate everyone’s support. We are so glad these posts were enjoyed by so many. We are starting to go back and reread them ourselves! Thank you all!

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Comments 4

  • Kathy S : Dec 23rd

    Thanks Eric and Halley! I followed your every step living vicariously through you! Great job, I think you will be forever changed in a great way! Kathy

    • Eric and Hayley : Jan 6th

      Thank you! We appreciate your support and agree that this journey as definitely made such a positive impact on our lives! We couldn’t be happier!

  • Mary Olien : Dec 28th

    I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

    • Eric and Hayley : Jan 6th

      Thank you for following us! We appreciate the support!


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