Day 0: Amicalola Lodge
Inti and I are here at the lodge after a 10.5 hour journey from Arlington via car yesterday through gorgeous western Virginia (Route 81 for the win) and eastern Tennessee. We are hanging out in the room finishing up last-minute administrative tasks such as lowering the rent on my apartment, deleting personal files from my work computer to send it back, and giving all my devices one last full charge.
We awoke to a wall of white fog out the window, but as you can see from the image above, that has started to lift, so we will likely get out there and walk to the falls themselves shortly.
Breakfast was a buffet of the type I know I’m going to grow to love once my alternative is PopTarts and Slim Jims, but today, with me still in the healthy-natural, veggies-and-protein, low-carb mindset, it was a disappointment of not-yet-ripe honeydew; greasy, powdered scrambled eggs; make-your-own waffle mix; and instant, mostly-sugar-and-additives oatmeal packets. There was, however, a happy amount of crispy bacon!
Am I excited? Not precisely. Things feel surreal. I’m looking out the window at mountains covered in the bright neon yellow-green of spring trees with patches of moving shadows caused by blobs of fog. My brain can’t quite accept that I’m really going to be out there for weeks and months, walking. That this is the last time my fingers will feel these particular keys on this work laptop. I told Inti on the ride down yesterday that I can imagine and envision the first week or so–I can see myself walking all day tomorrow, getting into and setting up camp tomorrow night, eating my (home-packed, all natural, hee hee) oatmeal in the morning. I can see that on repeat for a few days, and then … nothing.
It’s not that I think of this as a short trip, like I imagine coming home after that. It’s just that beyond a week, I just see a big emptiness. A big mystery. My learning curve is going to be so steep and my perspective will change so dramatically in just those first few days that from here, seeing myself even one week in the future feels impossible!
Welp, the sun is now breaking through a lot, so it’s time for us to get out of this room and into the woods.
Then an early turn-in, early rise, and off I go!
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