Days 0 to 6 on my Thru-Hike of the AT

Day 0

Finally at the famed falls!

Little to no drama for the first part! My hometown had its marathon the morning of my flight, but we were able to plan around that to get me to the airport. I hardly fit in my seat with Spirit, but at 6’2”, that’s hardly noteworthy. Once in Atlanta I retrieved my bag. It looked like TSA had searched it, and in the process “lost” a few lose items I had in my duffle with my pack. None of it was mission critical though, so all good. I then took the MARTA to the Sandy Springs REI. The red line was down, so I took the gold line, and transferred over. Once there I hurried to buy fuel and bug spray before ordering an Uber. Unfortunately it took about 45mins to get an Uber driver, and I ended up arriving too late to pick up my tag. I’ll have to walk back down and up the falls again, but what’s a few miles haha. Once at Amicalola, I did the falls hike, which was absolutely gorgeous at sunset! I then proceeded to check into the lodge, and enjoyed a wonderful buffet after a day of mostly not eating. I then wrapped up the day finding some water bottles from a vending machine, before passing out watching HGTV. Incredibly stoked to get moving tomorrow morning!

Day 1

Hiker #804 ready to go!

Woke up in the lodge and decided to skip breakfast. Hiked back down the falls, did orientation, received tag 804, and then hiked back up the falls, did the approach trail, and wrapped up at Stover Creek shelter. Trail mileage is 2.9mi, total with the approach is 11.1mi. According to Garmin, I did 14 even with all of my messing around. Shooting to go the same distance or maybe a bit farther tomorrow. We’ll see. I hiked with TC from VA and Christian from MD/Montana. Super cool dudes with similar goals. Had a wonderful evening around the shelter with other hikers, and became friend with a guy named Dillon as well! As far as events go, my filter isn’t working with the Dasani bottles I got from the lodge, but otherwise, everything appears to be going well!

Day 2

Tenting out of the wind with some new friends

Today we hiked to Gooch gap, decided we felt great, and continued on to Woody Gap, mile 20.5, so roughly 18mi ish from Stover. We started the day with a gorgeous valley hike that had an awesome water fall on a side trail. We bagged several “mountains,” experienced 2 different instances of trail magic, and met some interesting people. I hike half the day with Dillon, and then we linked up with CT and Christian for the back half. Body is feeling good, but I’ve got a small blister. Going to see if we can grab a blood mountain cabin tomorrow. Either way, I’ll get my water sorted out at Mountain Crossings. Fingers crossed this weather holds for a bit longer! Also met some weird people at two of the road crossings. They seemed like they just wanted to BS and told several lies. Not really sure what that was about, but it was harmless.

Day 3

The gang poses for a shot at Blood Mountain shelter

Overall easy day! We started at Woody Gap where I think everyone slept poorly due to car traffic. We then split up a bit, and separately hauled butt up Blood Mountain. The climb was honestly overhyped. Only the last half a mile or so was fairly brutal, and that was mainly because I was pretty dehydrated. After soaking in the views for a bit, we headed down the mountain to the famed “Mountain Crossings” store with the shoes of hikers who had thrown in the towel. I ended up finally sorting out my water situation, and I bought the gang a pizza! We then rented a cabin at Blood Mountain cabins, and had a super chill night just hanging out. Dillon leaves us soon, but us other 3 seem to be getting along perfectly. I think I finally gave Dillon a good trail name of “Express” due to his Fedex cap. The rest of us are still unnamed however. I do worry that they might leave me though as I am a much slower hiker. Who knows though. I might meet some other amazing people!

Day 4

The namesake for our cabin

Decent day! I started off pretty dang stiff from sleeping on a bad couch in the “Squirrel Cabin”but we ended up crushing nearly 20mi today after missing our original intended campsite. We chugged along though, until we found a decent spot. Once again, we had trail magic at a gap, that could not have come at a better time. I always appreciate a cold Gatorade and a hot dog! We lose Express tomorrow, but I think he’s taking us out for food. Maybe riding out the storm in town as well. Weather permitting, we’ll hopefully be out of GA by the end of the week! I have definitely noticed that I am needing more and more food and water, so hopefully I’m able to manage that well. Still no trail names for the rest of us, and we’re a tad isolated. Either way, still having a blast!

Day 5

Sending Express off right

Today was pretty good! We walked over to Blue Mountain shelter, had breakfast, met some new people and saw a few familiar faces. We then flew down a steep descent and stumbled upon some absolutely amazing trail magic from the Clayton city council. After pigging out there, Express drove us into Helen, this sort of weird German-esque tourist town. We resupplied at a Dollar General, and then slammed some 32oz beverages and massive burgers. After that, Express drove us back to Unicoi Gap and we said our goodbyes. We then had a long and damp climb up Trey Mountain and wrapped up at Trey Mountain shelter, where we hung out with many familiar faces. The weather the next few days is looking a bit iffy, so we may end up getting off trail for some it. Who knows. Also, the temps have absolutely plummeted, so with this front rolling it, progress is most likely going to be hampered a bit. Still absolutely having a blast, and stoked to continue to crush miles with Christian and CT!

Day 6

Christian getting some decompression in outside of the Ingles at Hiawassee

Rough start to the day after a very wet and windy night. The first half of the day looked like something out of a movie with heavy rolling fog and howling wind. Thankfully, by the time I started descending down to Dick’s Creek Gap, the wind calmed down and the sun came out. Once there, I was treated to some trail magic before hopping on the shuttle to Hiawassee to resupply. After a quick re-up on supplies, we dried out our tents before catching the shuttle back to the gap. We then hustled a quick sunset 5mi hike into Plumorchard Gap Shelter, where we stopped for the night. I ended up sleeping in the shelter for the first time, and it was honestly better than tent camping because it was flat and dry. Excited to cross into NC tomorrow!

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Comments 1

  • Martha Potocki "Aunt Marti" : Mar 16th

    Today is the anniversary of our hike of the AT!!! GA-ME97 What an adventure!!!! Preserve ,stick with it!!!
    If I had a rough day I would say everything will look better in the morning!!!!??????One step at a time!!!!enjoy!!!


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