First Week Brings Injury, Angels and Friends!
I’ve been on the Appalachian Trail nearly a week and I’ve already experienced injury, amazing friendships and unbelievable kindness from strangers. The magic and the community you read about really does exist on the A.T.! I’m currently outside Neel’s Gap staying at Blood Moutain cabins. A truly great place to take a zero. They offer a great hiker rate for cabins at $60 and split between 4 buddies it’s just gravy. Their located right below Mountain Crossings so you can resupply and assess your pack weight and if your lucky you’ll meet trail legend Baltimore Jack! I started at 45 pounds with all my gear, food and water and I’m grateful to say I’ve slimmed down to 34lbs fully loaded.
Going over Sassafras Mountain I felt my ankle give out and I couldn’t put much pressure on it without pain shooting through it. I thought I might have sprained it so I took off 2 days in Dahlonega, Ga. with some amazing friends of mine Fat Man Walking, Dr. Greenthumb and Sweet D. While in town I figured out that it wasn’t a strain but in fact tendinitis in my left foot. Sad news for only 11.5 miles in. All the hiking I did in Florida did no justice and it’s as if I sat on the couch the entire year. I’ll keep pushing, one step at a time!
The second day in Dahlonega was a blessing and totally unexpected. Dahlonega is an amazing little town and they are really hiker friendly. We all walked into their downtown to check out this little outfitter called Woodlands Edge which is great store and they have some of the nicest staff I’ve ever met. While in the store we met Sherry who was picking up some hiking poles she won from the ATC. She’s an aspiring thru hiker and we all got to talking about what we’ve experienced so far on trail. After just a few minutes she offered to buy us lunch at Moonshine Cafe which was heavenly (get the meatloaf sandwich w/sweet potatoes fries), brought us to the local candy store and bought us each treats! After that she drove us back to our hotel and then to make the day even more magical offered to give us a ride in the morning to the trail head at Gooch. She’s such a wonderful lady and I’ll be staying in contact with her. I just can’t thank her enough.
Tomorrow is coming fast. I’ll be back on trail headed to Low Gap Shelter! Wishing everyone on trail safe travels. No bears!
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