Green Monkey reporting in!
So, I set out on this hike April 6th and thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I had an awesome hammock tent, a hiking buddy from San Antonio, and a super cool Frog Toggs poncho. Everything was planned and everything would work out exactly like I imagined…Boy was I wrong! The poncho almost immediately flew up and hit me in the face. Nixed that. But, I still had my super sweet kickstarter hammock that would leave all the other hikers jealous. Well, the hammock tent was acclaimed to be waterproof. Big yay because it was raining all day. Got all snuggled in on night one and found out that it was a better sponge than a shelter. But, to my surprise, after a sleepless night, shivering in the cold pooling water, a fellow hiker gave me their tarp. Trail magic! Now I thought I would be hanging pretty. However, on day 2, after a long day of hiking, the hammock decided not to be in the air anymore while I was in it. Okay, well, I still have my hiking buddy, I thought. A note of familiarity there. Nope. I lost who I was hiking with and only bumped into them later at Woody Gap. With comfortable predictability slowly fading away, my adventure definitely started out strong.
That didn’t stop me from predicting things, though. Now on day seven, every day has been a guessing game. Whether it’s what the weather will do, or how many miles I’ll make in a day, or who I’ll see when I get there–I spend so much time thinking about what will happen. A lot of time. And what have I learned? It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen on the Trail.
I met this awesome girl, Lauren, partly due to a false prediction. We had both independently heard that there would be bad weather that night so we each decided to go to a hostel for the night. Been hiking with her ever since! On our first day of hiking together I thought I’d be slower and told her to expect me around 7 pm. I ended up arriving just after her, around 3. The next day we thought Blood Mountain would be super hard. I didn’t even realize I was on the mountain until I was 3/4 of the way up. Nothing I was planning out was happening as I expected it to happen. And you know what? It ended up better that way.
We had a gorgeous view on the top of Blood Mountain. Our happenstance meeting also ended up in around 4 days of hiking together (and hopefully many more!). And I am definitely more on my toes and prepared knowing that the weather is almost impossible to predict. I also have a nice tent now that both has a tarp AND serves as a shelter. And I’ve met some really cool people. People I’d never expect to meet back at home in San Antonio. Each day is an adventure, and I’ve found that the one thing I CAN count on is the exceptionally nice and positive attitudes of everyone on the Trail. Everyone on the AT is absolutely wonderful. At least so far!
I’m in Hiawassee now from Unicoi Gap, and can’t wait to find out what’s next. Happy trails, guys!
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.