Into the town of Helen

Day 7

Whitley Shelter to Hogpen Gap miles  0.2- AT mile 38.2

Card of the day – The Hanged Man

Whitley Shelter is a lovely spot and I could almost forgive the 1.2 mile blue blaze to it.  Over all it was a semi cold night with puffy and base layer and at one point I even took off my socks.  I’m starting to really enjoy climbing into my tent at hiker midnight and all The Fellowship seem to have a similar routine right now so that works.

Through the night there were animal and owl noises.  I’m still not used to that, after all back home the wild life won’t kill you!  I’m still of the mind set that every thing here probably will.

The sleep pad was deflated at 7am and I went off to fetch the bear bags.  I set about making breakfast as the sun rose.

After a quick photo with the guys from the fire the night before we were out of camp by 9.30am. It was a very short walk to the road crossing, but it was our only realistic out that day and we had our eyes and hearts set on the town of Helen for good beer hot showers and resupply!

Down at the gap there was awesome Trail Magic by a group from Antioch Baptist Church.  I got a hot dog with ketchup and yellow mustard, a nutri grain bar and a milk shake of some kind.  It amazes me that strangers will do all of this “just to share the love of Jesus”.  There was no pressure, no praying or proselytizing!  In fact when I tried to engage them about their church they kinda just moved the conversation on.

The taxi arrived about 10.30 and very nearly killed us.  The driver had a loose relationship with keeping his hands on the wheel!  Thank god they can only drive at 40!  Still we made it to town.

We found our hotel and they recommended a place for a late Breakfast.  It was my first introduction to Biscuit and Gravy and Grits.  They are, how can I put this, unique.

After that we got some Beer, and a few more!  The lady working in the bar said she did not trust the local drinking water and preferred to drink beer.  That is something I can get behind.


I can not begin to tell you how wonderful a hot shower is after a few days in the wilderness!  Added to that I clipped my nails and looked after my feet and I was feeling almost human again (To be fair the feet are holding up well).

Getting into clean freshly washed clothes after a hot shower has become the stuff of dreams I can tell you!

Dinner was at a German restaurant, surprise surprise, after all Helen is a quasi German town in the middle of Georgia!

To be fair the food was good, and the service was local and friendly as I have come to expect down here, if a little eccentric!

Another beer in the hotel garden and off to sleep in a real bed with real pillows and a real blanket!

Live is good!

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Comments 3

  • Steve : Mar 17th

    Calling Helen a quasi German town is a fine example of British understated politeness. On the positive side, they did have hot showers and beer, and fortunately you were not from Germany.

    I am from Georgia and I never understood biscuits and gravy. A good buttermilk biscuit is best with butter and/or honey, or filled with sausage or egg and bacon. Many fast food places like McDonald’s, Hardee’s or Wendy’s will have these in the morning. Although “unique” you might acquire a taste for grits with butter and/or cheese. They cook quickly in the morning though they should sit for several minutes to finish soaking up the water so they will not be “gritty.” The powdered cheese packets that come in the cheap Mac and cheese dinners work well in grits as well as other foods that could benefit from the addition of cheese flavor. To me, cheese grits with the optional addition of real bacon pieces or canned ham beats cold soaked oatmeal for breakfast any day.

    Enjoy your hike.

  • John Shafer : Mar 17th

    You are still on pace to make it to Maine by early summer 2025. Stay strong!

    • Craigen : Mar 31st

      Thanks! I will


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