Date: March 17th
Miles from Springer: 69.6
Miles to Katahdin: 2191.6
To put it simply, Georgia has been very kind to me. Not only has the weather been beautiful since Saturday, (sunny and 70) but the people around here are just so darn nice. On three of the last four days, I have encountered what is known as “trail magic.” These wonderful people known as “trail angels” set up barbecues or picnics at road crossings for the hikers passing though. Eating a couple hotdogs and a brownie is a lot tastier than a cliff bar a peanut butter/honey tortilla (although I don’t mind those at all.)
Aside from occasionally passing someone, I walk alone all day, but each night I meet all sorts of new and interesting people at the shelters. I typically tent out every night, though I’m in the same camping area as the shelter. I did however stay in a shelter the second night to avoid pitching my tent in the rain. Because I have a faster hiking pace than most people, I usually only stay with them for one night. A few exceptions to that are Ron from New Hampshire, who has been with me since the second night, and Shaun from Massachusetts. I actually met Shaun on the shuttle to the summit of Springer, and caught up to him last night at Tray Mountain shelter. He and Ron are both staying with me tonight as well. Ron’s trail name is Donut, a reference to the emotional experience he had at one of the trail magic stops when a lady gave him a box of krispy kremes.
The veiw from my top bunk at Gooch shelter. I really liked these folks and am disappointed I won’t be seeing them more.
Tonight I am spending my first night in a real bed at Top of Georgia Hostel. The folks here are just as kind as the rest of Georgia. The owner is Sir-packs-alot, a triple crown hiker (A.T. P.C.T. C.D.T.) who gives advice to novice hikers and helps people lower their pack weights. Hikers walk in the door and the first thing they get is free drinks and pizza made by Buttercup, an amazing woman who also does all of the hikers’ laundry for them (this is a more daunting task than it may seem.) Donut and I took the free shuttle into town to re-supply, and to get some supper at an all you can eat buffet. I had three plates of fried chicken wings, mashed potatoes, cucumbers, and biscuits and gravy. All for $8.99.
View from my top bunk at T.O.G. Donut is passed out, and Carl is organizing gear (he is a Mainer, from Boothbay)
All in all I’ve had a fantastic time in Georgia. Everything has gone a smoothly as it could have.There have been a few tough climbs, but in reality the hiking has been fairly easy. Tommorow I leave the first state on the trail, and with that, I leave you with today’s QOTP: “From small things, big things one day come” -Springsteen