I’d had hopes of being able to blog about every day, but with being worried with my phone charge, I can’t even read on my I-phone. I’ve struggled to keep enough charge to take pictures with it.
Bud told me that there were lots of Birthday wishes on my Facebook, but I could not get the Newsfeed to load, last I checked. So thank you for each and every one of them.
Also, the WordPress App will not allow me to post pictures. Bummer! I’ve tried everything I can think of to work it out.
The airlines lost my luggage, so I had no backpack when my plane touchd down. Raid and I were able to find each other (with my phone charge barely hanging on, it was getting scary.) They ended up delivering my backpack after midnight that night.
Raid’s husband took us to Amacalola Falls bright and early the next morning. I officially registered as an AT Thru-Hiker. I felt like I was in shock. I felt numb. Raid said it was like a solider who had been in basic training and was finally being thrown into the battle.
My pack (with food and water) weighed in at 33 pounds. I had decided not to hike the approach trail, so we drove up to Springer Mountain. The start of the trail is actually a mile from the parking lot. We said goodbye to Raid’s husband, and left our packs in the parking lot. Sqid Billy was there taking an informal count of thru-hikers that were arriving and he watched the numerous packs that were left there.
Raid and I went to the start of the trail. It was foggy and sprinkling. We had put on our rain gear in the parking lot. The trail was easy up to the top. We took some pictures, and I signed the register with my real name. Coincidentally, I signed right after another Kara.
When we got back down to the parking lot, we put on our packs and headed down the trail on the other side of the parking lot. Still, I felt in a fog (literally and figuratively). I couldn’t believe I was actually on the trail and thru-hiking.
It began to rain, but it was not a cold day, and true to the tales I’ve heard, we began to get hot and sweaty. So the choice was to be hot and get wet from sweat, or take of the jacket and get wet from the rain. We opted to take of the jackets and keep the rain skirts on. The fog hung on, too. At times we could see the clouds/fog blow past us. We couldn’t see any kind of a view at all.
We felt good, but the weather deteriorated. The wind started gusting. We soon met a guy coming down the trail who told us that there was a new campground up the way…Hawk Mountain Campsite.He told us that the shelter was already full (which we had expected anyway.)
We had done 7.4 fairly easy miles and decided to call it a day and headed down the hill, into the campground. We actually felt really blessed, because this place had a bear box, and a privy.
They had made tent pads, and we chose two spots that were next to each other. They had some puddles, but beggars can’t be choosers!
As it would turn out, there were only about 2 or 3 other tents at the camp site.
We set about setting up our tents in the steady rain. I had anticipated this, so I just kept telling myself that this was part of the deal. Everything was muddy, and that was the frustrating part. I’d had to set my backpack next to the tree while I set up my tent.
We finally got our tents set up, but both of us had water in our tent floors. We didn’t know if it was from the water coming in before we got the rain fly on, or if it was coming from the bottom.
I had a chamois with me, and I started soaking up the water and ringing it out. I finally got the puddles out, but the floor of the tent was wet. I blew up my air mattress and quickly put my quilt on to top of it.
Raid and I sat side by side on a log as we cooked our evening meal. We sat there in our rain gear watching our pots boil, as the rain pinged against our pots. We both had tea as our food was rehydrating. Raid gave me some ‘hot lips’ which is a plastic attachment that goes onto the pot so you can drink directly from the pot. The hot liquid was just what we needed. We ate on the log in the rain.
I’d had a bad headache that day, and I was starting to shiver. I went into my tent and changed into my dry sleep clothes and got inside my quilt. It took a long time to get warm.
Soon, the rain stopped. It was still light outside, but my head was pounding, and I was still cold. Raid had gone outside, and had noticed that my tent was not staked tight enough, so I went outside and she helped me move my tent to a better position to get the rain fly staked out tighter. I was glad she did because later that night we had a deluge!
It thundered and the sky was lit up with lightening. My phone kept buzzing, but since I had no service, I couldn’t figure out why. It was apparently some kind of weather alert. We later learned that a tornado had gone through the area.
In the morning, I heard the sound of Raid’s voice telling me it was 7:30. I couldn’t believe I had slept that long. It was still drizzly. I put on my wet and cold hiking clothes (that’s the way we do it, because we carry on set of clothes on our backs, and one set of clothes that are always dry.) We took down our tents in the drizzle, and then ate a cold breakfast and we were soon on our way.
(To be continued…)