Calm Before the Storm
I am trying to consolidate what has taken place in my life in the last 36 hours. I have learned so many things already. Just getting to Georgia had its up and downs. My plane was cancelled yet was resolved when Karen, aka Hazel Nut became my personal travel agency. She’s amazing, she drove me an extra 2 1/2 hours to catch a different plane and flew with me to help get me to the trailhead early the next morning.
Arriving in Georgia was great, one step closer to the trail. It was warm and sunny, which calmed my not so calm chitters. Last minute Walmart run, big steak dinner, and a cozy sleep in my first hostel made all nerves disappear.
Trekking in the Sun
The minute my feet hit the trail I became flooded with emotions. Thoughts such as, “Crap this pack is heavy” and “I wonder what I forgot to do back home?” I quickly started to focus on my every step. My brain could no longer be in two places. I can usually multitask but I learned I can no longer do that. The warm sun was amazing, I was almost giddy because I was hiking in a t-shirt. My 3:00 PM take off was a bit later than what I had planned but it was still perfect, I was finally on the trail.
After ending the day with my first 8.8 miles done I proceeded to set up my one room chalet. It was dark, I was tired and hungry but when the task was completed, I was happy. As I snuggled into my sleeping bag, I was hoping to snooze and wake up to morning. Needless to say, my night was long as I laid there listening to every noise that the woods was giving me. And the evacuation helicopter that flew directly over me was concerning, it made me think that someone was in trouble. Later, I found out it was a gentleman with hyperthermia from wet clothing. Thank you to the rescue team, he is safe and sound. After a short three hours of sleep it was time to pack up.
The Storm Day 2
My morning started by hearing a fellow hiker using his choice words as he walked by my tent. He sounded almost desperate. I quickly yelled from inside my tent to see if he was ok. He explained that he couldn’t find the trail. I was happy because I was able to jump up and show him his much needed white blaze. I have learned a “white blaze” gives a huge sigh of relieve, it means I’m on the right trail. It was so foggy that the white blazes were almost nonexistent. This was a great day as the fog lifted and the sun peaked out. Another 12.5 miles completed and I was ready for rest.
First Zero Day
As I had completed 20 or so miles within a 24 hour period, I came to realize why all AT hikers say, “Start out slow”. My toes took a beating, three glorious blisters. My friend, Karen was still in Georgia and became an instant trail angel. She was transporting fellow hikers to and from places because of a bad storm that was settling in over the mountains. Trail angels mean more to AT hikers than I could have ever imagined. Thank you, thank you! The weather was rough, 10 degrees, windy and snowing. I guess Maine weather followed me to Georgia. This storm would make me make the decision to take a zero day on day 3. I respect the elements and basically it dictates my moves. This has been a great rest day for my blisters, a time to regroup, and mentally get prepared for the next day.
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Looking forward to following you on your AT journey! Praying for you! Fellow Maine girl here! Hubby completed his AT thru hike 9/8/21. We’re headed south on Wed 3/16 and stopping at various crossings along the way. Maybe we’ll run into you. If not, lots of trail magic planned in Maine this summah!
This has me excited thinking about the AT! Good luck! Just one note: the gentleman had hypothermia rather than hyperthermia.
Try some Injinji wool socks with toes. They cut downs in friction. Also make sure your shoes are long enough. At least a thumbs width from the end of your big toe to the end of the shoe. This keeps your toes from fitting the end of the shoe on downhills. Good luck.
YOU GOT THIS TRACI!!
I hope your blisters are healing and that you are climbing your mountains!
I’m rooting for ya and can’t wait to see you in Virginia!
Enjoying the journey already. Sorry about the blisters. Hope the knee feels better too.
Keep walking, keep inspiring.
Enjoying “following” you here.
Sorry to hear about your blisters.
Do they still use moleskin to help prevent blisters?
(What we used 45 yrs ago on our A.T.honeymoon)
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