Hiawassee, Georgia – Zero Day in Absolutely Beautiful Surroundings

Feb. 28: Sally and Joyce recommended three hotels in Hiawassee. One did not have laundry and I chose Holiday Inn after hearing that it was the best location.
As I check in 5 AM is relaxing on the couch; 5 AM because he has feet on the trail at 5 a.m. I met him at Blood Mountain Cabins and was surprised to catch him here.

5 AM gives me some town recommendations and I head off to a new outfitter called Trailful for a tent repair kit. I have a Big Agnes Copper UL1 and I probably tore it camping on the cement floor at Blood Mountain. My fault. I cannot say how much I appreciate the tent. It gets cold, but keeps the wind out.

Trailful has only been open about a year and has everything you need and smells great. Eric and Rob own the place and help find a better pair of gloves on Feb. 29.

After Trailful, I stop at Baachus Beer and Growlers for a flight of beer and am given a slice of coconut cream cake that I take back to the hotel.

After dumpling my stuff at the hotel, I go to Dollar General for an iPhone charger cable and on to dinner at Monte Alban, a Mexican restaurant a block away. Hiker hunger has kicked in so I eat a bowl of queso with chorizo, a basket and a half of house-made tortilla chips, two chicken and one beef taco. This is probably twice as much as I’d normally eat. Back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

Feb. 29: Up early and start reorganizing. I patch my tent, unload my backpack the rest of the way, dump my food bag, shower, and head to the Country Kitchen for biscuits, grav,y and pan sausage. The gravy was OK, the coffee was great.

As I enter the hotel, the couple from Ohio I met at Hawk Mountain are here having breakfast. They have their trail names. Pitsto’ because she could not wait to shave her armpits and her husband Synthesizer. Not sure why.

Back to my room to get ready to wash clothes. $2.50 to wash and dry. There is probably $3 sitting on the dryer and Tide pods. I have everything I need so I tell Pitstop and Synthesizer. Clothes are done and I head back to Trailful for a better set of gloves.

Eric at Trailful told me that he thought they were done with winter weather so he put the gloves on sale last week and they do not have much of a selection, but they got what I need. Black Diamond lightweight, waterproof gloves and I am off to the Hiawassee post office.

My dad is managing my mail drops and it and all the stuff I left at Blood Mountain Cabins are waiting for me at the Hiawassee post office and the staff there are great. I break down my packages and send back what I do not need. Gloves that do not work, foot powder, chafing stick, and too much food. My dad added tuna, pecans, cashews, minced onion, and my niece’s art.

Hiawassee- Sarah

Also, at the elevator there is a hiker box. Again, I do not need anything, but prunes and an electric air pump are poking out of the box. Apparently, the trail makes you regular.


Hiawassee- hiker box

It’s 1:30 p.m. and I’m almost done with the day. At Blood Mountain Cabins I figured out that I can bring leftover pizza for a next meal and will order pizza shortly. I am hitting the hot tub and putting my pack back together. This is called a pack explosion and is only part of my stuff.

Hiawassee- pack explosion

Shuttle confirmed, with Sally and Joyce again, for 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Tomorrow, March 1, is when the bubble bursts and the mass of thru-hikers join the trail. The day I started 26 people were registered to start, the last time I looked 100+ start.

Hiker terms:

Nero: close to a day off trail.

Zero: whole day off.

Today is a zero. Tomorrow, adios Hiawassee. I am heading 70 miles from Hiawassee to Nantahala Outdoor Center, hopefully in about five days.

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Comments 4

  • Dennis A Turner : Mar 1st

    Great Read. Just the right stuff.
    FYI, came through several days of rain when I was in NC in 2015, got to Franklin bought a $8 hair dryer at Dollar General to dry my boots. That was a good $8 spend, left it in hiker box.
    Good Luck.

    • James Aguilar : Mar 1st

      Thank you Dennis! I’m told it’s supposed to start raining at 9s and I just hit Tennessee around 1p today. Sounds like I may need a hair dryer soon.

  • Kandi : Mar 3rd

    Jaime, I am so very impressed with you and the difficult journey you have chosen. I thoroughly enjoy your updates and am looking forward to the next one.

    • James Aguilar : Mar 3rd

      Thank you Kandi. You’ve been on some difficult challenges of your own with the flooding. I named a bird in honor of your Dad and my Uncle . PLGB- see my dad for explanation .


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