Return to Dick’s Creek: New Gear, New Hiker, New State

We’re heading back out soon.

Making calculated gear changes and weighing new items.

And adding a new member to our hiking team for our May 2024 trek.

This year, Daniel, trail name yet-to-be-determined, brings his athleticism, determination, and spirit of adventuring to our family hiking team.

So, now our sister hiking team will become a trio with the addition of Daniel on the trail with us. Because of this, Walkie and I have found ourselves reminiscing about our first shelter, our first white blaze, our first logbook signing, first water gathering, first summit, first trail tears, first fall, first injury, first sunrise, first cooking dinner with a stove, first night on the trail, first yoga under the stars, all the feelings and impressions that come with your first time on the trail.

Being able to experience that excitement through the eyes of our newest hiker is an amazing gift to our spirits as we return for our third section and cross into the state of North Carolina together as a trio.

Dicks Creek to Albert Mountain along the A.T. in Georgia and North Carolina.

A long way from Amicalola Falls and before that, our training days along the Foothills Trail which twists and turns along the border of North and South Carolina. Daniel was there with us for some of the Foothills Trail, too.

Foothills Trail 2019 with Daniel
2019 on the Foothills Trail with family (Curtis, Walkie, Daniel, and The Dude)

That was five years ago. Daniel towers over us now!

And in May, we head back out to the A.T. to hike our third section, finish our first state, and cross over a state border for the first time.

During our first stint on the A.T., I sent Daniel a photo every morning I woke up on the trail.

Photo for Daniel

Now, I can drink coffee and high-five him on mornings in camp.

The Next Section

This next section begins with our return to some of our favorite tramily members, Donna and Bill at the Green Dragon Hostel in Hiawassee.

Green Dragon Hostel

And then, onwards…all the way to Albert Mountain Fire Tower, and possibly beyond? If we hike faster than planned…

Thoughts from a fellow Yoga Sister, Walkie? How are things looking from your side of the state line?

Walkie Here
Walkie here. Thanks for asking, and thanks for having me Myrt.

I’ve been dealing with an injury since our last hurrah on the AT. Turns out I have posterior tibial tendonitis in my right foot, which causes my foot to become sore after about 7 miles of hiking with a weighted pack on.

I cannot replicate this pain in other active endeavors: tennis, biking, or even running. Just hiking…go figure. So, I went to a physical therapist in the fall and learned some strengthening exercises. I still practice the moves 3 times a week and it seems to help.

I bought new trail runners: Ultraventure 3 Topos. Cute and comfortable.


Most importantly, I put myself on a training hiking regiment.

The regiment lasts 3 months and looks like so:

Week 1 – Hike 2 miles with 10 lbs
Week 2 – Hike 4 miles with 10 lbs
Week 3 – Hike 6 miles with 10 lbs
Week 4 – Hike 8 miles with 10 lbs
Week 5 – Hike 2 miles with 20 lbs
Week 6 – Hike 4 miles with 20 lbs
Week 7 – Hike 6 miles with 20 lbs
Week 8 – Hike 8 miles with 20 lbs
Week 9 – Hike 2 miles with 30 lbs
Week 10 – Hike 4 miles with 30 lbs
Week 11- Hike 6 miles with 30 lbs
Week 12 – Hike 8 miles with 30 lbs

Currently, I finished Week 6 and will tackle Week 7 next.

Walkie Training

During my training, I realized quickly, I need my hiking poles even for 4 miles and 10 lbs, so I dusted those off, and reinstated them into the party.

Around Week 5, I gave into purchasing an ankle support by Sleeve Stars.

And at Week 6, I figured out how to properly wear it (I was wearing it way too high on my foot, and it was causing me a new pain).

I can proudly say, I completed Week 6 successfully. No pain. No after pain.

Fingers crossed, I figured out the right combination.

It can be discouraging to have an injury. Especially, if you keep retooling it like I have, and not finding success. But from one hiker to another, it’s worth finding the solution. Use your off time to figure it out. If it helps, think of it as a very frustrating jigsaw puzzle.

Parallel to this training, I’ve had to adapt to another new caveat: Daniel joining our hike. Wow!

That didn’t sound right because what I mean is I’m so ecstatic to have him join us! But the new addition, did mean new changes.

Primarily a new tent purchase. Myrt and I have shared an REI Quarter Dome 2 Tent from the get go. This tent is like the third hiker on our adventure. We absolutely love it! (Maybe a review for another day.)

But now there are three of us, and some of us have to part ways. I raised my hand to volunteer, and start the process of researching a new 1 person tent.

Yikes! They are so expensive! You would think less is cheaper, but I’m here to tell you, that’s typically not the case. I looked up and down, right to left, scroll after scroll, review after review.

Looking for a tent on a budget?

My four tips:

1) Research, research, research

2) Find the older model of what you like

3) Go on eBay (Gear obsessed hikers are always upgrading their gear and getting rid of
their old stuff.)

4) Don’t forget your gift cards!

New Tent

So what did I end up getting? I followed my 4 steps and am now the proud owner of an REI Quarter Dome 1 Tent for the low low price of $35! Huzzah!

We still have 6 weeks to go and I have a laundry list of things to still do such as:

● Spray down my clothes with Permethrin (Ticks are my worst fear!)
● Soak my Sawyer Squeeze in hot water and flush it out
● Use Appalachian Trail Weather to account for weather on the trail
● Use Where Are The Hikers? AT Heat Map to predict how crowded it will be on the trail
● Go to Appalachian Trail Conservancy for updates of the trail

Thanks again for having me Myrt!

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