2012 AT Thru-Hike

Georgia

Day 1 Total miles 8.8 Daily miles 8.8 (Approach Trail)

I began the approach trail on Saturday 7, 2012 with one of my buddies Rusty. We started the Approach Trail around ten in the morning and arrived on Springer Mountain at 3 in the afternoon. Halfway down the trail we met a guy name Chirpa, he was from Maine and thru hiked a few years ago, he gave me some good advice for the trail. Later that night on Springer we met a guy, Sean, who would later be called Leonidas because he came from a town of 300.

Day 2 Total miles 8.1 Daily miles 8.1

This was the first official day on the Appalachian Trail. We dominated about 4 miles in a little over an hour. It was easy because it was a gradual downhill. We got to Rusty’s truck midday and Leonidas and I finished at Hawk Mountain Shelter. That night I met some new folks, Big Red (aka Red Beard) who is from Hawaii and just got out of the Navy. We met a couple Cereal and Jill who have an awesome dog named Rooney.

Day 3 Total miles 15.8 Daily Miles 7.7

Today was a short day from Hawk Mountain to Gooch Mountain Shelter. We slowed our pace because five miles is considered a bear zone and you are only allowed to camp if you have a bear canister. I hear that if you get caught without a canister you can be fined up to 5,000 dollars. At Gooch shelter I met Hook from Connecticut, Salisbury Hill from Ohio, along with Chewy and Gator who are from Florida.

Day 4 Total Miles 24.3 Daily Miles 8.1

Lance creek was a good hike. I met up with Hook, Seminole, Pancake, and Many Moons. When we got to the campsite it started to rain so we all hastily set up our tents to avoid getting all of our gear wet. It was about ten tents in a 20 foot circle.

Day 5 Total Miles 35.4 Daily Miles 11.1

We left Lance creek at 4 in the morning and made it to Blood Mountain just in time for sunrise, It was ridiculously cold on the top of Blood Mountain so we decided to book it down the mountain to get to Mountain Crossings. Mountain Crossings is a hostel / store where people take showers and get new / additional gear for the hike. This was my first shower in 5 days. That afternoon we decided to push forward and went a few more miles to Wolf Laurel Top where we had a great view of the surrounding mountains.

Day 6 Total Miles 49.6 Daily Miles 13.8

This day was a particularly rough we had to climb two large mountains. Salisbury and I were tempted to head into Helen, but we decided to stay at the camp with the group. We spent some time during the day talking to Robo and Tink, Robo has thru hiked the AT in the past and gave us good advice on how to stay healthy. The big scare out here is Lyme Disease and giardia, Lyme disease is acquired from ticks and giardia is a virus that you can get from drinking bad water.

Day 7 Total Miles 58.6 Daily Miles 9

We got up around 9 and headed to Helen, GA. When we got to they highway we were immediately able to hitch a ride. This was my first time to hitch a ride and it was fun. We piled six guys, a dog (Rudy) and six large backpacks in the back of a little truck. Helen is like a little Dutch and German town, all the buildings have crazy designs. We went to Wendy’s to get some real food then went about the town. The town has many restaurants and shops and tourist attractions. We left Helen around four and took a nice long hike up to Tray Mountain.That night at Tray I cooked Virginia Ham by the fire, it probably wasn’t the greatest idea because I’m sure thats just asking for bears to come and instigate. Later on that night we heard a few tree limbs break and got a little nervous, we shined our lights to find two little bunnies poking around. We also had a real obnoxious mouse who wouldn’t quit messing with us near the fire.

Day 8 Total miles 69.6 Daily miles 11

The next day we made it our mission to get to Hiawassee. This was one of the longest days, by this point on the trail my legs and feet were really tired and I was ready to get to our motel. We all made it to Mull’s Motel by 3 and then took a trip over to Danny’s Buffet to destroy fried chicken, salad, and potatoes. When we got into town Clint Eastwood was filming a movie and for one scene they crashed a 66 Mustang. We spent the night hanging out and trying to get organized for the next day.

Day 9 Total miles 81.4 Daily miles 11.8

This day started out great, I made 6 miles in under two hours but I didn’t know what I was in for, the last 3 miles on this day was a steep uphill which drained me of energy I decided to skip two water spots and ended up hiking 4 miserable miles without any water. Water tends to be a trade off from time to time because it weighs a lot when your toting it around all day, luckily I finally made it to Muskrat Shelter. We also crossed into North Carolina from Georgia at 78.5 miles.

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