The Beginning is Here!
Well folks, we are officially hitched!!!! Spring came to Michigan just in time for our wedding and besides our officiant getting violently sick a few hours before the ceremony (sorry Jackson!) and needing to find a last minute alternate (thanks Bob!), we had the most magical day. Indulge me as I share one wedding photo:
So what has happened since our wedding? Let me fill you in.
Over three days, we said goodbye to our two families, finished putting everything in storage, rented a vehicle, did some panic grocery shopping in Ohio, and drove down to Atlanta. We took the train and then walked a mile to our hotel. That walk, which involved cutting through a giant mall and following a very questionable exit sign, was an enlightening experience.
My pack was too heavy.
Upon arrival at the hotel, I promptly tore my pack apart. An extra sleep shirt, fleece, heavy-duty glasses case, unnecessary stuff sacks, and my third pair of socks were thrown into a bag and dropped off at the nearest FedEx. I also did a serious purge of my food bag. Since I was moving out and hate wasting anything, I had thrown a LOT of non-perishables into my pack and figured I would eat them along the way, right? Wrong. I don’t like Kind bars in normal life and seriously doubt they will taste better on trail.
When I weighed in my pack this morning at Amicalola Falls State Park, it was a respectable 26 pounds, including 5 days of food and 2L of water (Nick’s was 29 pounds- thanks for being the team pack mule, honey!).
The Approach Trail.
And finally, FINALLY today we started hiking! It could not have been a more beautiful day- 70s and sunny. The 8-mile approach trail (from Amicalola Falls State Park to Springer Mountain, the official southern end of the AT) was accurately rated as “strenuous” but I had an awesome hike and my pack felt pretty good.
We arrived at Springer where we were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Springer (no joke, their last names were Springer and I LOVED that they took advantage of the perfect dad joke. They also took our picture for us!). It felt pretty surreal to see the first white blaze of the AT.
Our plan is to hike 8 or so miles per day until our first resupply to try and ease into this whole hiking all day, everyday routine. Hopefully, I didn’t throw away too much food during my food bag purge… (just kidding Grandma, we’ll be fine).
Expectation vs. Reality:
Expectation: we will have to force ourselves to stop hiking after 8 miles.
Reality: we were SO ready to lay down after hiking the first 8 miles.
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