I'm short on time and have way too much to say for a single post, however, I have notes and will go back at some point and fill in the blank spots. Eventually, I want to post most of my pen and paper notes as blog entries and organize it accordingly, but for now, I'm going to give a brief overview and post a bunch of pictures that I have taken along the way.
Currently, I'm sitting at the Haven Budget Inn - Motel and Efficiencies in Franklin N.C. I've never heard efficiency used as a noun in this way, so I am entertained. This is our first 'zero day' or day that we're making no mileage at all, and both Dad and I think we need it. We've covered about 115 miles since April 3rd. Our highest mileage day has been 16.5, our lowest 2.5. We've both decided we don't care about mileage or schedules anymore.
On April 2nd we caught a ride from my Dad's friend Eddie to Amicola (sp?) Falls State park and crashed in the shelter there that is 8.8 miles from the A.T. The approach trail to the A.T. is 8.8 miles long and doesn't count as part of the A.T., I don't know why, but the falls are totally worth the walk. We weighed in at the visitor center there, both of us much higher than we expected. I was at 46lbs without water, and KT(dad) was at 46lbs without food and water. I knew why I was so high, I had a whole lot of food that I didn't want to go to waste and wasn't worried about carrying, so I filled every available nook and cranny in my pack with it.... I think I had 15lbs of food.
We've hit the following stops. (Sh. means Shelter)
3rd - Springer Mtn. Sh.
4th - Hawk Mtn. Sh.
5th - Gooch Gap tentsite
6th - Blood Mtn. Sh.
7th - Mountain Crossings Hostel
8th - Chatanochee Gap stealth campsite
9th - Cheese Factory Campsite
10th - Hiawasee GA Mull's Motel
11th - Plumorchard Gap Sh.
12th - Standing Indian Mtn. Sh.
13th - Big Spring Sh.
14th - Franklin N.C. Budget Haven Inn
15th - Franklin N.C. Budget Haven Inn
We've had rain, wind, snow, and sunshine changing almost faster than you can peel off or add layers of clothing. KT replaced his tent and sleeping bag for ones half the weight and we've both mailed some stuff home for weight reasons and are learning as we go. I'm still trying to swing the hammock and have one last hurdle before it is 'perfect' in my opinion. During rain, after about 2-3 hours the water runs down the strings and soaks your back. This can be solved with drip strings, but I think I am going to look at the Eno hammock that doesn't have exposed strings at the outfitter today. Other than that, I'm pretty much sold on hammock hiking.
I've plenty more stories, which I intend to share, but for now, I need to check email, and see about getting several dozen photos uploaded over a bluetooth <-> treo internet connection. More to come...
For now I'll leave you with my favorite photo from the past 12 days, sunrise on Springer Mtn. through the crook of a tree. Just click the link till I get an album arranged somewhere.