Hikers decide to hike less and enjoy more

Pinhoti Trail Day 19 & 20

Miles Hiked: 26.3 miles

Day 19: 13.3 miles

This morning we all slept in at the Hearn Inn which felt fantastic. Yesterday was a long day. Even though we slack-packed it was still my longest day on trail so far this hiking season. 27 miles is a lot on the body, even with a next to empty backpack.

We all got ready to head back to trail around 9 am. I ate some leftover pizza for breakfast and packed up my things. A couple staying at the Inn asked me all kinds of questions about what I was doing and where I was going. They were really nice. They played me some music from a performance that they saw. It was a theater performance inspired by a man’s paintings which was really neat.

There’s no rush today because we only have to do 13 or so miles. That’s always a good feeling. We all have a ride planned for Thursday, so with our big day yesterday we really set ourselves up for an easy day today and tomorrow.

Callie from the Hearn Inn drove us back to the trailhead from yesterday and we headed north from there. We had a good laugh thinking about the events of yesterday; how different our mind sets were yesterday once we figured out which trailhead we had actually got brought to. 

It felt so good to be back on actual trail rather than road walking. There was a gradual climb to start and then the rest of the day was pretty cruisy ups and downs. A lot of the trail followed along old service roads through the woods which were dirt/pine and much better than the roads from yesterday. Though still it was technically road walking and not a traditional “trail.” We had heard this about Georgia. Some hikers we met back in Alabama were vocal about how wonderful the Alabama Pinhoti is and how much less cared for the Georgia portion is. Georgia has been nice, but they aren’t entirely wrong. There is a lot of road walking in Georgia. Whether that be on the side of a highway or along old dirt roads.

Every 3-4 miles throughout the day we took a nice long break. It felt good to relax a bit instead of push miles. Sometimes you get so caught up in the hiking that you forget why you’re really doing it. I always call it “running to town”. Town is sometimes my motivator on trail to keep going. So once you leave town it can be easy to keep your head down and get to the next one as soon as possible.

By 4:45pm we all got to camp by a nice creek. In the distance near our camp there was an old car that wrecked down a hill into a tree. It was pretty weird that you could just go and look around the car. There was definitely no getting it out from where it was. Myself and 5 Pounds walked over and climbed up a hill to get to the vehicle. We could have climbed inside if we had wanted to. It was an odd scene. I had so many questions about what happened. How did a car get out here?

At camp Mule made a fire and we all sat out and ate dinner. It was hands down one of the best days/nights on trail so far. We all stayed up longer than usual because it’s light outside so late now.

Day 20: 13 miles

This morning we all slept in a bit which was great. We only have to do 13 miles to get to a road where Jinx’s dad is going to come and pick all of us up. The ride isn’t set until 5pm and Jinx is still behind us on trail a bit because he didn’t slack pack the other day. So we are in absolutely no rush. That’s a good feeling.

Eventually we packed up and headed out. There was a small climb to start but it was gradual. We wound up taking regular breaks just like yesterday. After my first break I continued along and the trail connected to dirt roads once again. Then before you knew it the trail connected to real paved roads and you were walking past farms, barns, and people’s homes. I had read comments on Far Out about some “bad dogs” at a nearby house so I was weary of that. But when I walked by they were all bark and no bite. They were both pretty old, but still let me know not to come near their yard.

A little while later I found a decent spot on the side of the road to take a break. Mule and 5 Pounds caught up and we all sat together for a bit. We were only a handful of miles out from our pick up location and it was still really early. At our next break Jinx caught up to us. Then the whole band was back together!

At the end of our day of walking we got to a creek crossing where we had to take our shoes off. But luckily the water was below the knee. Then we all sat by the creek and had a fantastic relaxing rest of the day. We were right by the road where we were getting picked up and were 2 hours early. So all of us laid out and did a whole lot of nothing. It was amazing.

Jinx’s dad came to get us around 5pm and drove us to Rome, GA. He dropped off Mule, 5 Pounds, Nails, and I there and then him and Jinx went off to do their own thing. We’re all going to regroup in a couple days when Jinx and his dad pick us back up in Rome, Ga to all head back to trail.

After getting dropped off we all got situated, showered, etc. Then headed to Applebee’s for dinner. It was actually really good. What isn’t good after you’ve walked 200+ miles? After dinner all headed back to the hotel to hang out. I stayed up and did my laundry to get it out of the way. Then called it a night. We’re taking a zero tomorrow to avoid a rainy day and I’m so looking forward to sleeping in, in a bed, in town!

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Comments 1

  • Charlotte McDonald : Apr 25th

    I am loving your writing! I am 68, and contemplating the AT. You are making it sound so fun! Of course my goal is to prepare, and God willing, do it for my 70th birthday. Spent many younger years backpacking parts of PCT that went through Sierras that were also connected to John Muir trail. How much different things are now compared to the 70s and early 80s.


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