Day 2 – Newly Listed: Tent Castle, Comes With Its Own Moat

Day 2 started with abrupt downpour of rain at 4:30am. My tent quickly felt like a waterbed and was surround on all sides by at least an inch of water. Luckily everything on the inside remained dry but my paranoia was real. I threw everything into my dry bag just to be sure. The onslaught of rain continued for another 45 minutes. Between that and the snorers in camp that night, lead to another restless night.

I awoke the next morning to a slightly smaller puddle surrounding my tent. I stepped out barefoot, removed all my tent stakes and dragged my tent to dry land. While this is not a gear review I’m super impressed with my featherstone tent. Despite the conditions everything inside my tent stayed dry. The 1300+ 4.5 star reviews on Amazon did not lie, solid tent for a reasonable price. Only downside would be the weight. I’ll update y’all if I have issues in the future.

I left camp at 9am backtracking on the trail 0.1 miles before realizing I was going the wrong way.  I turned around and met up with Thomas and we hiked with our Georgia local weekenders until they reached their cars at Coopers Gap. We said our goodbyes and kept hiking until we arrived at a Justus Creek for a needed break.

To say the cold water on my feet was refreshing would be an understatement. The approximately 50 degree water was just the cold plunge my aching feet needed and I stayed in until they were numb.

I went with the Chacos the rest of the day (which is becoming a trend). I had originally planned to hike 12 miles to Woody gap but with my late start I called an audible and decided to stop at Gooch Gap and stay at a hostel as I needed a food resupply.

Lessons learned on the trail thus far:

1. Hike your planned hike, but it’s ok to call an audible.

2. Listen to your body, live to hike another day.

3. Calories are king.

Just before getting to Gooch Gap I ran into Chealsea, the Park Ranger who checked me at Registration 2 days earlier. We had a nice chat and discovered we both have joke books of our own creation. After exchanging jokes with one another I continued on my way to Gooch Gap and my shuttle to “Hidden Pond Hostel”. I needed to recharge my devices and my body (also to resupply on food).

Rainbow, Lost Johnny and Sampson (the poodle) are the hosts there and are very welcoming. My original plan was to join friends from Hawk Mountain at “Above the Clouds Hostel” but they didn’t have any availability. Things worked out for the best because the food and hospitality at Hidden Pond were more than I could ask for.

I had an amazing hot shower and hot meal and got to sleep in an actual bed. They pickup from a couple other spots on the trail so chances are high I’ll be back for my next resupply.

With that said I’ve officially completed 0.77028% of the Appalachian Trail! Boy how time flies.

Stow away and stay tuned for Day 3 on the AT.


You can follow Derek on Instagram: @Barkleycharles

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Comments 1

  • Charlotte : Apr 27th

    Your posts are fabulous! I’m planning on tackling the AT for my 70th birthday 4/25, so following current hikers is inspiring, especially the sleepless nights, rainy days and nights, low food supplies. Knowing those before me are overcoming obstacles, will add to my mental preparation. Keep trekking.


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