My first week on trail

My First Week On Trail

Today is Day 7 (including the approach trail) on the AT. We are currently taking our first zero day in Hiawassee by way of Unicoi Gap. We arrived yesterday at the Budget Inn after a short 6 mile day but decided to stay an extra night. Tomorrow we will rejoin the trail and push towards North Carolina.

Brief Recap of the Week


We started in Amicalola last Thursday, and ended up here in Hiawassee. So far we have covered 52.6 miles of the AT (61.4 including the approach trail). We’ve stayed at Springer Mt. Shelter, Hawk Mt. Shelter, Woody Gap, Mountain Crossings Hostel at Neel Gap, a primitive campsite, and now the Budget Inn for two nights.


We have met some incredibly interesting people. Several previous thru-hikers are out here doing it again. Many of us however are new to the trail. But we have even met Trail celebrities. We met Miss Janet and Lion King yesterday. When Miss Janet speaks everyone seems to listen. She is incredibly knowledgable and very nice. I even got to run an errand for her since I was the only one healthy enough here. (When Miss Janet asks you to do something you do it)

The comraderie is unlike any I have ever seen. Everyone has such a giving heart and looks out for one another. I’ve been treated better by random strangers than some people I’ve known my entire life. I’m not sure what it is about the AT but it’s an atomosphere unlike any other. I suppose we just all know how shitty things can get and try to help out.

Trail Magic:

We have been spoiled our first week with trail magic. We’ve been handed apples and fresh vegetables by strangers. A group at Woody Gap cooked us hotdogs and hamburgers (The fireball shots were an added bonus). Then the following night at Neels Gap a church group fed us. They had burgers, hotdogs, pasta, snacks, cold drinks and ice. They also gave out goodie bags with trail food and snacks.

These people were incredibly kind and went out of their ways to make our days better. The only thing they asked in return was that we pay it forward. I hope to do exactly that in the future. Anything I can offer to others I will gladly give. I believe fully in having a servant’s heart and love how many others feel the same out here. The trail is truly an awesome place.


  1. Sweet Trail Magic
  2. Won a six pack due to a bet
  3. Met Miss Janet
  4. Met a couple playing bagpipes on trail and got free concert
  5. Rain only at night, stayed dry
  6. My gear doesn’t suck
  7. Did a serious pack shakedown and cut 10 lbs before even stepping off
  8. Alcohol stove works (need windscreen though)
  9. I’m not as hungry as I thought I’d be

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?