AT Journey Across 2016 – 2021 Days 8 – 10

– Helen GA to The Top of Georgia Hostel –

Georgia, the first fitness challenge

It was an incredibly challenging day full of trail ascents and descents ranging from 30 to 65 degrees. A 13 mile day was achieved today. This was a great endurance test for what was next, The Smokies.


Small or large mileage?

Slowly upping mileage is a great way to keep injuries away while the body adjusts to the extreme distances. The aches and pains radiate through the quads, calves and feet. These start to vanish over time. This can range from 2 – 6 weeks.

What helps this go away?

During this timeframe, stretch morning and each night. Take pain relievers, large amounts of protein, joint relief meds, daily vitamins and fish oils. You are breaking down massive muscle fibres each day. This is why there is pain. The body needs time to heal. A large pain factor is the amount of weight carried in the pack.

Was it time to ditch the bear barrels?

These weigh in at 2 pounds each. These creations are bear resistant and resemble a large black football. It has a standard screwdriver slot to lock and unlock the lid. Once unlocked, the inside lid can be slid to the side to get the contents out.

Bear barrels or dry bags?

Some Nylon sil drybags were picked up from the outfitter at the hostel. These weighed 2-3 ounces and not 32 ounces like the barrels. It was decided to send the barrels home when possible and keep the bags. They are made of nylon ripstop material and have a thin water barrier. If it rains and a foodbag is hung up, the rain wont soak in the material to make it heavier.

Bag construction

Brandens bag snapped at the strap area where it clips together because the material is fairly thin there. This is where a carabiner is usually snapped to hang it in a tree for the night. This is where dental floss comes in handy as a sturdy sewing material. Thoughts move to the miles already travelled.

How was this state?

Georgia was a vicious state to travel. It was half up, one third down and if lucky, a few flat stretches. Snow, heavy winds, powerful rains and heat were endured. Georgia, thank you for the sights and sounds, but your challenge has been defeated. On to the next state.

North Carolina

Hiking almost 4 miles to Discus Creek Gap, a decision had to be made. Hitchike 11 miles to town or see if the hostel had rooms for the night?

Hitch hiking was experimented with.

No luck with this, so the trail was followed while stumbling across a hostel named The Top of Georgia. No vacancy for the night, so it was decided to try shuttle services from the hostel. It was extremely busy, so we were forgotten about for 2 hours before getting a shuttle to town 11 miles off.

What happens after the shuttle leaves?

After getting dumped near a grocery store, all occupants purchased goods and congregated outside. Each person had about 4 – 5 plastic bags that were full of oatmeal, trail bars, electrolytes, meat and cheese sticks, candy, ramen noodles, pasta sides, instant potatoes, water flavorings and other essentials. The shuttle was called to return.

The wait begins again

The shuttle returned, gathered all occupants and returned to the hostel. A total of 5 hours was now gone. Town trips need to be planned carefully as they are a sink hole for time.

The trail once again

Hiking 5 miles past the hostel, the shelter could be seen. Camp was setup and the night settled in. Thoughts wandered to how North Carolina was going to be.

Once hiking began early the next morning, it was realized the ascents and descents were much steeper than Georgia. Another state to conquer, more challenges to face with renewed vigor and focus.


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