Early Days, and a Trail Name Emerges
It feels great to say I’ve finally put some miles on the Appalachian Trail that are going toward a thru-hike. Saturday afternoon I got my hiker tag and headed up the stairs to begin the Approach Trail. Oh man, that thing is no joke. It might have been a mix of anticipation and nervousness but the Approach Trail felt like it kept dragging out. Finally, at 4:28 p.m. on March 2 I took my first steps. I strolled over to Springer Mountain Shelter and got my tent in order. The weather was nice and the ramen and Knorr side tasted even better.
The weather here in Georgia has given me everything from hot sun to freezing temperatures. I experienced a nice thunderstorm on top of Sassafras Mountain, which was scary and exhilarating at the same time. Before heading into Neel Gap I stayed with a group in Woods Hole Shelter and that night we reached dangerously cold temperatures. Having the group around me definitely helped my morale as the wind howled through the night.
Trail Magic, Trail Names
It seems that when I’m at my worst trail magic finds me. From a group of guys inside tents in the pouring rain with hot chocolate or Odie with the hiker yearbook making a huge fire serving coffee and doughnuts, the trail seems to know when you need it. I have met many people on the trail. I enjoy meeting everyone whether it’s a local going into town or my fellow hikers. Most people are on the trail for the same reasons, so everyone shares a common trait.
I have been pegged with a few different trail names as the days go on, but the one that is sticking is Free-Easy. It’s developed over the last few days into many things, but I may shorten it to Easy. Only time will tell.
I feel great out here and my self-confidence is skyrocketing. Here’s to wet, cold weather and warmer days to come.
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