His next will be sent in the coming week to Fontana Dam. Since he got into Hiawassee before noon today he plans on getting back on the trial tomorrow. They are starting the day with the traditional Berry Patch Hostel breakfast of Blueberry pancakes.
Transformative journey: Appalachian Trail thru-hiker reconsiders his life path
He says there is as much conversation about food on the trail as anything. He should be camping in North Carolina Sunday night. They are calling for rain and thunderstorms for the next few days. Apparently Ryan was in proper condition for this effort. They say Georgia and the first week is the toughest. He seems to be cruising.
The coming two weeks will take him through the Smokies and across the tops of the highest mountains in the southern section. Ryan checked in one more time last night to give directions for his next food shipment. He said they were lounging around the Hostel and eating a pizza. He also said that he is sending some pages from his journal and asked that I post them. He ran down the entire list of the wildlife he had seen.
Hearing how well he is doing sure puts your mind at ease. He is currently hiking well above 4, feet and said everyone got good telephone reception tonight. So they are ordering food and supplies off the internet to be sent to their next resupply mail drop. He needs to go up another size. Feet can swell up to two sizes larger with hard hiking. They say an AT hiker will usually go through 5 or 6 pairs of hiking shoes. He completed his first miles.
They covered that distance in 8 days of actual hiking. He said they did 19 miles yesterday and 14 today. Both are beyond what they should be hiking at this point. He felt they need to cut back a bit. Tennessee will do that automatically. He was fantasizing over easy-mac with packets of tuna mixed in like it was a Big Mac and fries. He said last night they hiked about a mile out of camp to a ridge on Big Spring Mountain to watch the sunset. He described it vividly and said the best part was once the sun dipped over the mountain in front of them, the moon came up over the mountain behind them.
He said it was very gratifying to spend the day hiking straight up when you could reap the benefit of a sunset and moonrise over the mountains. Received a package from Ryan today with a SD card with about pictures and 12 pages of his journal entries.
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The Map function has not worked very well today. The site appears to be down.
Hawk Mountain shelter is a two story wood building with a tin roof. A lot of tents are sprawled out around the shelter. At first I was reluctant to go out and socialize on the first night. I was half right. The first 6 miles of the day was pretty easy and extremely enjoyable.
It is going to take a while before I can really let my mind go.
Find your Trail, pack a Verse, hike the City.
Live for the day. I live in the woods now. Walk, eat, drink, and enjoy. Frog Paw just showed up with 3 packs on. One main pack, a pack strapped to that pack, and an extremely big front pack. Good gracious. There was one tough stretch in the 8. Right around 6. I felt great at the end of it though.
One thing I found to be helpful is to pop the boots and socks off for about 15 minutes. Once I put them back on it felt like I had just started hiking. It was a great first day. Low mileage, beautiful scenery and I found some hiking buddies.
It is funny how the younger and not so bitchy group instantly found their way to the same part of the campground. I have 7. Should be an easy day other than the feet of elevation in a quarter of a mile. Until tomorrow. Got 7. I started at this morning.
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It was a little bit of a hard day but hiking with Ollie and Bill was a lot of fun. I kept a very good pace and saw a lot of great views.
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The top of Sassafras Mountain was beautiful. Saw my first snake today on a water break. Taking a break at Gooch Mountain shelter. Laid down on the loft and saw 3 mice in 10 minutes. That supported the idea that I have no interest in staying in shelters. Getting some food cravings but not too many. Bill was eating a bagel with peanut butter and it looked amazing.
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The freeze dried stuff is good but I think there needs to be some balance. I had a steak craving yesterday and I had Skyline on the brain for about an hour today. Once I got it shut out, 5 minute later it was back. Time for lunch, freeze dried chicken pot pie. We took off from the shelter once it started to fill up around No one could handle another night of that. We hiked about a mile down to Gooch Gap. We set up camp at a grassy wooded area pretty confident it would be secluded away from the group. Turns out we were wrong. A couple from Hawk the night before were there when we came back from getting water — not filtered.
The attempt at a bear bag hanging was a big failure. Not really too concerned about bears at this point but everyone else did it so we felt obligated. We had a minute conversation about all of the different kinds of crackers there are and how we wanted all of them — first really strange craving. This must be like being pregnant. I was the first to rise this morning.
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