And We’re Off
Well that was a wild ride. Pops and I just finished a 15.4-mile day, capping off a three-day, 38.8-mile journey. It was a lot. It may have been a bit much to start with, but we wanted to maximize our time on trail together, so I am all about it.
Day One: March 25
Amicalola Falls State Park (mile 8.8) to Stover Creek Shelter (AT mile 2.8)
Alright, so for those that do not know, there is the AT approach trail, which is 8.8 miles that do not count toward the 2,190 other miles one must walk to thru-hike the AT (for those who think I may be a bit sarcastic at times, you’re right. And yes, I am fully aware that I am the one who signed up for this, I volunteered as tribute, I know but let me complain a little). So yeah, pops and I tackled the approach trail, and then went another 2.8 (official AT miles) to Stover Creek Shelter.
Stover Creek was solid. There was a great water source down the hill a bit, and we got in in time to grab a nice tent spot. Dinner was decent but Little Debbie apple pies fix all. I hit the sheets real early. And unfortunately was freezing most of the night. It was super windy and of course more rain.
Day Two: March 26
Stover Creek Shelter (mile 2.8) to Gooch Mountain Shelter 15.7 (12.9 miles)
Day dos was a doozy. Problem with dad and me as hiking partners is that he is a go-getter and me not so much. At least when it comes to sleeping in. I need my beauty sleep and like to stay in bed, especially when it’s freezing out and half my stuff is still soaked from the day before. Then there is dad, who is ready bright and early. But I eventually rolled outta the tent and we packed up and got after it. Breakfast in bed? No, no, even better, breakfast on trail. Pop Tarts while you’re walking; nothing better. The sun was out for a good part of the day and we were able to dry out a bit. We had a huge day, knowing we had to be at Neel Gap by Tuesday night. We made it all the way to Gooch Gap, and it was absolutely packed. It was kinda weird, looking across the side of the mountain and seeing 20 tents just dotted along the side. Kinda creepy, not gonna lie. We made our way over there and had to make our own tent spot. Slight tilt and giant root running down the middle, just how we like it. I slept like a rock, dad not so much.
Lots of friendly hikers, many of whom we had played leap frog with all day passing each other. We had a solid dinner of mashed potatoes and packaged chicken and there was a nice water source. And ya, I knocked out pretty good even with the military base near by letting the artillery loose at 11 p.m.
Day Three: March 27
Gooch Mountain Shelter 15.7 to Neel Gap 31.1 (15.4 miles)
This one was something else. We got off to a better start, leaving by 9. We knew we had a huge day ahead but it was far worse than I had imagined. 15.4 miles of extreme uphill then downhill, ha, just going up and down mountains for 11 hours. Nice lil Tuesday we had. With dad, ma, and Col all scheduled to leave Wednesday midday that meant we had to meet them Tuesday night. With minimal service, we decided days in advance that we would meet at Neel Gap Tues at 6 p.m. If we didn’t arrive by 7, they should leave and we will camp and figure it out. Well thankfully they stayed later than that one-hour window we had because we did not come crawling down the mountain until 8 p.m. It was a straight nasty day. Not sure if we were in the clouds or it was just foggy. But the whole day you could barely see in front of you ten yards.
So no time to stop for pics, we just kept on. It was brutal. That is all I can say. But we made it.
And we had a heck of a time. Huge shout-out to ma and Col for picking us up and getting us to a hotel for a shower, pizza🍕🍕, laundry, and a bed. So great. Thank you both a million.
I am sure I am forgetting a ton of stuff.
Opted for another pair of compression pants and long johns over the rain pants I was carrying. Save a few ounces, ay.
Water system worked great. Shout-out to the Big Cat for helping me get that put together. See you in three months.
Shout-out to T2300 🎯, miss you all.
Ground tarp working great. Sauce, thanks again.
Alrighty that’s all, blogging on a phone is not easy so if ya made it to the end, thank you.
One last thank you to my fam for helping me chase this crazy dream of mine. PK, see you soon.
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