We started on the afternoon of March 28th. After arriving in Georgia we headed for the southern terminus. My sister drove us down and was staying for the night so we were only going as far as Springer Mountain shelter. The first night was very windy! I kept waiting for the tree to blow over and me to land on my ass! Luckily, that never happened.
The next morning we packed up and headed north, saying our goodbyes at the parking lot. The plan was to see my sister in 2 1/2 weeks when she returned to hike with us for a few more days and then head back to Raleigh with my dad. It sounded like a great plan at the time. We hiked on to Hawk Mountain Shelter…this was the beginning of my misery! It started with a little cough. I thought it was just allergies so I took some meds. It didn’t help much so I decided to try my inhaler. By morning I was exhausted and feeling like crap.
We pushed on to Gooch Mountain shelter, me still feeling bad. Over the next several days I tried multiple medications and other remedies for my “allergies” I pushed on as best as possible until I finally have up at Jerrard Gap. My dad and I called a shuttle and told Dude to meet us at Neel Gap. We stayed there for the night and headed to Blairsville the next day. I struggled to find energy to eat and grocery shop. It was finally while waiting in the lobby of the hotel, under 5 layers of clothes, that I realized this was not allergies. I spent a miserable evening running a fever. My dad and son left for dinner and I called my mom in tears. My mom arranged for my sister to come back to Georgia and pick my dad and I up. My son, Dude, continued north. I later learned that my other sister and her husband had been diagnosed with the flu the day after we left in March.
I’ve spent the last week sleeping and recovering. My awesome sister (who I owe big time) will be driving me back to the trail on Wednesday to catch up with my son. My plan is to come back to the section I missed at the end.
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