Day 7. The first week is officially complete! In the past 7 days, I have hiked 69 miles covering almost the entire Appalachian Trail of Georgia. A little over 3% down and much more to come. At the end of each week, I will post a recap of all the photos and videos taken on the trail along the way. See above for the first of that series. In addition, here’s a brief update on what happened on the trail since yesterday’s post…
Last night was a bit crazy. The Budget Inn in Hiawassee was ALL hikers. It was s bit of a party all night as we had some adult beverages and mingled with other hikers also recovering from the wet and cold. The late night led to a sluggish start to the morning, but I got to the trail at 8:45 ready to take on our longest hike yet.
We were greeted with another trail angel giving out trail magic after our first few miles. A nice man was offering hot cocoa, cold Gatorade and countless snacks to thruhikers today. A welcomed treat! I feel very spoiled in Georgia, and appreciate all the southern hospitality of these kind souls looking out for us.
Speaking of great things in Georgia … this countryside is just breathtaking. Hiking through these hills are such a treat, I recommend everyone to come spend a few days taking in these mountains and views. It is simply amazing to see this every day.
The 17 mile hike today was not too rough, though the last couple miles were painful. My feet were definitely pushed to their limit today, and I’m eager for the half-day of rest scheduled for tomorrow. We will take a late start and just hike 4.5 miles to the first shelter we come to. This minimized day is called a “Nero Day” in the community, as it is a day of hiking “nearly zero” miles. Given how beat up I feel following today’s hike, tomorrow’s Nero Day was well planned and is much needed.
Tonight I am staying at Top of Georgia Hostel, a half mile from today’s end-point of Dick’s Creek Gap. The hostel is huge, and resembles a combination of a college dorm and summer camp. About 20 people are staying here on bunk beds in the hiker room, with another half dozen “staff” next door. Lots of rules of what you can and can’t do, and lots of great socializing. A little guitar session, some card playing, chit-chatting … it was a fun night. It’s so amazing to me how quickly hikers become friends. We have this special common passion and quickly welcome anyone else into our circle that shares it too. Also feels a bit like studying abroad in college, you just instantly make friends because you are all in this foreign land together.
Unfortunately, our main tramily is split up tonight as I could only get one other person in with my reservation, but we plan to all meet up again tomorrow at Plumorchard Gap Shelter.
So a big day today, a Nero Day tomorrow, and a week officially in the books. Hello Neiman!
- Start Mile: 52.3
- Start Time: 08:45
- End Mile: 69.0
- End Time: 16:45
- Miles Hiked: 16.7
- Miles to Go: 2121.9
- Lodging: Dick’s Creek Gap / Top of Georgia Hostel