Week two, we have hiked through rain and mud. Two days ago, we took a nero (near zero miles on the trail) in Hiawassee, GA. We had dinner at the Hiawassee Brew. On our hike before town, we met two yoyo (hiked to Maine and turned around and hiked back) hikers, Timber and DaVinci, with really positive vibes.
We headed back to the trail at Dicks Creek Gap after our stay in town and hiked 11.8 miles. We crossed the state line into North Carolina and camped at Muskrat Creek Shelter. We have climbed our first 5000+ foot mountain. Some of the trail was an old road beds. We wondered how in the world they got those old trucks up and down the switchbacks. Slept a night at Carter Gap shelter. Lots of blow downs here and lots of dead trees standing. We had at least 50mph wind gusts and rain and our tent got wrecked just before 6am. Because of our good planning, we were able to repair if for now.
The next day we hiked 8.7 miles to another camp. The tent stayed together and the camp was nice and quiet next to a beautiful stream. We hiked to Winging Stair Gap to shuttle to Franklin, NC to resupply and pick up Stella’s dehydrated food package.
Going into the second week, we are still feeling positive. We have had rain, 17 degree nights, and high winds. I love it when the sun comes up and it warms us through the day.
We started at Amicola Falls and hiked the approach trail to Springer Mountain. Springer Mountain is the official start of the Applalatian Trail. Tom and I are hiker number 1145 and 1146. On day four, we hiked the tallest mountain in Georgia. Blood Mountain is 4,461 feet high. We have seen a few squirrels, a grouse, and some birds. The plants are slowly coming alive. I have seen two different types of violets, trilliums, and mountain laurel.
Day three was rainy. Lucky for us our friends were close enough to save us. We were able to shower, wash our clothes, drink wine and have corned beef and cabbage. A great way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It couldn't get any better than that.
The views on the trail have been amazing. The pictures do not do it any justice. A high point was the rime frost on the trees at the top of Blood Mountain. It was fun to see all the shoes hanging in the trees at Neels Gap. We have literally walked in the clouds.
Stella is doing great. Of course, she is making friends at every turn. She has been an amazing help to keep us warm at night. The rainy days have been a little rough on her, so we have been able to get off trail to dry her out.
We have just over 40 miles to get into North Carolina.