Only 2119.5 more to go…
I’m seven days in and I couldn’t be more ready to keep hiking. I’m sitting here at Top of Georgia Hostel right outside of Hiawasee, and as everyone knows, a zero day is a slow day. Filled a long wait to get into town, the morning has dragged on into the afternoon after enjoying a delicious burger and beer at Bear Meadow Grill. I feel like I finally have some time to think and actually sort out the last few days.
Over the last 6 days, I’ve hiked from the Approach Trail to here at the Hostel, totaling about 78 miles or so. Although I’ve met some of the most genuine people, I’ve already realized that there is a chance I might not see them again. Adapting to change is a necessity out here thru hiking, and unfortunately, people come and go. Hiking your own hike is more than just a saying or motto. It means acting towards your own needs, and sometimes that means adjusting quickly. Although I’ve already met more people out here than I have at home in the last six months, I’ve really only been hiking consistently with two people so far, Flipper and Frisbee. So far, I guess our pace is just a bit faster. Although, I have seen quite a few people from the first day which was unexpected.
Busting out bigger mile days early on feels good. I have a fair amount of backpacking experience so my legs were in more of a hibernation mode than anything. As my legs continue to build, so will the routine. Sometimes us thru hikers are just too exhausted to participate in camp activities like cooking a hot meal, so getting in the routine of camp life is ubiquitous. So far, trail life has been more than stellar. (If you’re on the trail right now, let me know where you’re at so we can meet up, by the way.)
The first week has been everything I could have expected and more. Not only have the views made it a pleasure to be out here, but the pure generosity that accompanies the trail has exceeded all expectations. For me, the pull to the trail and the community that surrounds it is magnetic. It is something that is a part of who I, and a lot of other thru hikers are. People who I would have never talked to at home for no apparent reason become best friends along the trail. Everyone so far has experienced a different 78 miles thus far, but I think I can speak for every thru hiker when I say that, we’re just happy to be out here.
This will probably be the only zero day I take for awhile as long as my body handles the beating, but after some much needed rest and a much needed (first) shower, I’m ready to hit the trail and keep pushing to Maine. As long as I keep one foot in front of the other, I imagine I’ll get there.
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That is awesome, I am currently doing some research and wanting to plan my own thru hike in the next couple of years. I am 26 right now and I want to do the AT before I turn 30, that’s my goal!
Hoping ’17 will be my year. I missed 30 by a long shot. I’ll be 48 next year.
HYOH and all that but don’t do so many miles that you forget to look around once in awhile. I want a late Feb/early Mar start date. Not because of outside life but because I want 8 or 9 months to hit as many blue blazes as possible.
Aw heck 48. I’ve got socks that are 48. I’m doing a SOBO flip flop starting at H F WVA 3/1/17 and I’ll turn 66 on the trail.
Greetings from Maine! Keep pushing bud. See you in a few months.