Start Time!


Day -2
Getting to Amicalola Falls Park! Starting from the DC area, there was really only one way to travel. Train! I love a long train ride, who doesn’t! It has many benefits over flying, not the least of which was my pack. Not that I don’t trust TSA and the baggage handlers…who am I kidding, of course I don’t…does anyone? On the train, my pack was a carry on. Win! Then the leg room, oh the precious, glorious leg room, and standing room, and room to walk, and other cars to go to; it was most excellent. And the food. I had dinner reservations for 2000 and the guy sitting across the isle from me in business class (I know, not very Hiker-Trash of me…but it was worth it to be in business class!!!) was also eating at 2000, and he was a Philly guy! We had Steak, which was pretty good for a travelling meal, baked potatoes and gin and tonics! I was going to retire to the lounge car for more drinks but we had such a great time we closed down the dining car instead. Try that on a plane. That was Monday night. I arrived in Gainesville Tuesday morning, after a short night of sleep. It was very Agatha Christies “Murder on the Orient Express” minus the whole murder part. Good times!


Day -1
Arrived at Gainesville Amtrak station about 0745. Got off, and waited for an old friend to pick me up. He wasn’t able to get me till about 1100, so I started writing my blog…which I summarily deleted by accident just as I was trying to save it after completing it. So you are reading my second attempt…there will not be a third! Will arrived, and we got some lunch and some snacks to take with me and he dropped me off at Amicalola, by the waterfall. I singed in, weighed my pack, got a pic with Will, filled up my water at the falls and started up the infamous Stairs at about 1245. Many people, I hear, skip them and go straight to the start of the Approach Trail. I did not find the stairs strenuous, but I did an insane amount of training on a stair machine for this hike. Excellent views, I highly recommend it!
Then the Approach Trail…8 miles-ish of trail that is moderately steep, but at least its rockey too, just to get to the start of the Appalachian Trail. Now this 8 miles does not count toward the total distance of the trail. So why do it? I have no idea!

A little less than 3 hours and 30 minutes later and I am at the start point of the Trail. So there is that. The Approach Trail…not recommended. I linked up with a few people at the Shelter just past the summit. After a quick diner and water refill, I am rewriting this blog. Now it is time for a fire, a cigar (Fuente Opus X), and a shot of Scotch to commemorate the official start of this Adventure!

I should have enough bars to post this tonight…we will see, or rather you will or will not!
Scuba Steve RLTW <2>20170502_181224

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Comments 2

  • Lawrence Bessey : May 2nd

    Disappointed I’ve yet to see the hatchet on your hip!!!

  • Kristina Cornwell : May 2nd

    Happy Hiking love!!!


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