The First 100 Miles

Still Hiking

We are currently enjoying the hostel life! The Green Dragon Hostel in Hiawassee is amazing 😍. Absolutely no complaints from any of us here. I’m thinking it’s the best hostel on the trail and until something else beats it, it stands! We are at mile 69.2 on the trail. We have had rain, heat (I’m already sporting a farmer’s tan!), and cold temps. We are almost out of Georgia and will be heading into North Carolina within the next few days. It’s been quite a challenge so far but we are making it our own hike!

 

The Day-to-Day Crap

The early days are difficult due to mountains, routines, and weather. Those of you at home think of us when you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet!  Privies and streams or piped water can be quite a challenge for the every day life! Nothing like setting up a tent every night and taking it down in the morning as well as walking more after hiking all day just to get water. That’s the worst because it always seems to be freaking downhill from the camping area so it’s an uphill climb with heavy damn water! Privies are only at shelters so if we camp at a campsite, we are peeing out there somewhere and digging cat holes (not me, I’m still No Shit). Everyday chores become an effort. Imagine dishes with no running water?? Or washing hands using a water bottle? All of the conveniences of home are not available, just what we carry in our turtle shell of a pack. 

 

The People

We stopped by Gooch Shelter early on for a snack and privy use, not me since… well, No Shit!  Anyway, we met a couple on their way to the shelter. Mid to late 70’s and they called themselves “The Shit Rakers.” OMG these wonderful people freaking hike up to a shelter, could be miles, just to rake the compost privy poop piles down!! This is not a joke! I’m seriously in awe of a volunteer that hikes miles to just rake someone’s shit! These people deserve a medal and day of celebrations!! Love the AT volunteers from the shit rakers, who knew that they existed, to the trail runners who carry out so much trash and give info to hikers, trail ambassadors, hostel owners, shuttle drivers to simple town folk who are there with a smile and hello. I’ve never encountered anyone who is not helpful or willing to work with us.  We have met so many wonderful people and can’t wait to meet more!

 

Hikers

We’ve met quite a lot of hikers so far.  Day hikers, weekend or section hikers, Pappy who was great to chat to, and of course, thru-hikers. You can usually tell them apart by their smell!! Oh, those day hikers smell clean with fresh laundry scent and shampoo!  Everyone has been great overall. I love hearing the stories, why are we all out here slogging in the rain or melting in the heat with bugs in our faces all the time??!! We have spoken to hikers from all over the world, Germany, Canada, Scotland, England, and I heard someone say they were from the Netherlands. The US is well represented as well. I love chatting to all the folks! The days blend together but the people are unique and some of them are unforgettable. Shout out to Scout and his dad Jay, who we keep meeting up with along the way! 

 

The First Hundred Miles

We crossed into North Carolina and officially crossed the first state off the list to hike!! We climbed Albert to the fire tower and reached out 100 mile milestone! We’ve had heat, sunburn and freckles for me (yes, I use sunscreen!), rain, wind most of the time and bitter cold for a few nights. Water bottles froze and condensation in tents snowed down on us for a few nights!  We warm up hiking but the temps fight us with the twists and turns around the mountains. Some sides are toasty, remove gloves and hats while the other side is freezing so put that shit back on again! The constant battle of the elements is endless but a necessity out here. We are still moving pretty slowly but have bumped up to 7+ miles most days which has helped us all avoid injuries and build some stamina, that’s a joke since  we still stop at the water sluices to breathe on the way up mountains!! Sometimes I skip one or two and it’s a celebration! Whoo hoo!!!

 

Tramilies 

Somehow, Joyce (Jocelyn) and I (No Shit) attracted Kate (no trail name yet) to our snail hiking speed.  We are now a tramily of three! Great fun to hang out with her nightly and catch up at lunch or spend time in town together. We lose her and yet somehow meet up again at a hostel or on trail. So despite telling her that we are extremely slow…. she’s staying with us!! Now we need to get her a trail name! This, folks, is how tramilies are made! More adventures to come as we get closer to the Smokies! 

 

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Comments 2

  • Lazy Tiger : Apr 10th

    Great updates – keep em coming!

    Reply
  • Marcia Henthorn : Apr 11th

    I think you are great for going your own pace. I lost my hiking partner to cancer this year. Not easy to find someone to share the same passion.

    Reply

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