100324 Blairsville, Ga., — Mike Kaufman, 25, of Cleveland, Oh., reads a book as he relaxes in his bunk inside the hostel along the Appalachian Trail at Mountain Crossings at Walasi-Yi Wednesday afternoon in Neels Gap near Blairsville, Ga., March 24, 2010. The hostel and outfitter’s store is a busy place this spring as hikers begin their Appalachian Trail adventure ending in the fall in Maine. This store is actually the only man made structure that the Appalachian Trail passes through. Winton Porter, the owner of the hostel/store, has written a book about his experiences learning trail stories from characters such as Baltimore Jack, Lumpy, Dartman and Squirrel, called “Just Passin Thru'”. His historic store sells hiking gear, and puts up and feeds hungry hikers. This building, originally called the Inn at Neels Gap, was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps beginning in 1934 and finishing in 1937. Jason Getz, [email protected]
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After getting a Fine Arts Degree in Photography, I set out and thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Upon my return, I landed a job where I got paid to nerd out about gear all day (Thanks REI). A year later I took it one step further into the outdoor retail world and started working for Mountain Crossings at mile 31.7 on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. Now I get to live and breathe the AT every single day!