Days 0-3: Sunburns, Miss Janet, and The Yellow Deli
First four days on the AT: check! I still can’t believe I’m actually out here, but I think it’s slowly but surely sinking in. I could probably write an entire post about each individual day, but here are a few highlights…
Major Mistake Day 1
If I’m being honest, I felt very prepared to begin the AT in terms of gear. I spent hours researching, selecting, and testing each item. I was sure I had everything I could possibly need (and a few things I probably didn’t). Of course, I was very quickly humbled within the first couple miles of the approach trail when we realized we were getting burnt and had no sunscreen. I was informed that the AT would be all clouds and tree cover and would very confidently let you know that sunscreen wouldn’t be necessary. I didn’t realize until later that day how bad my burn was and I ended up having to wear my raincoat in the blazing sun for the next couple of days in order to protect my shoulders and arms. Lesson 100% learned.
Miss Janet and The Yellow Deli
On Day 2 we were passing through Hightower Gap when we saw a white van covered in stickers. We heard a voice call from the inside…
“Do you want some sodas??”
We couldn’t believe we were getting our first trail magic so soon. As we approached the van I quickly realized it was none other than MISS JANET! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Miss Janet, she is the ultimate trail angel. For months she drives up and down the AT from Georgia to Maine helping hikers. I knew all about her from various books I’ve read and documentaries I’ve watched and I was hoping I would see her at least once during my journey, but never imagined I would run into her before mile 10! We happily grabbed a couple of sodas and chatted for a few minutes before beginning the brutal climb up Sassafras Mountain
On Day 3 we were coming up on Woody Gap when we saw some tents in the distance – more trail magic! As we approached the tent I saw a sign that read ‘The Yellow Deli’. I had heard all about The Yellow Deli who are more or less known as a cult, so was fully prepared when they began handing us pamphlets. Whether or not that is true, the tomato bisque they gave us was delicious!
Needless to say, my first four days on the AT were full of surprises. Dave will be dropping me back off tomorrow morning where I will continue on the trail and he will head home. I am anxious, to say the least, and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Nonetheless, I will continue on and keep reminding myself why I’m out here. Bring on the rest of Georgia!
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