Sunday, March 11, 2012

Re-learning to Hike - First 5 days recap

3/7 Got into ATL, picked up by Rob and went to run last minute errands before grabbing a bite to eat at Chilis. Headed up to Amicalola Falls State Park where the start of the Approach Trail is or the AT. Met up with Amy's parents and two sisters who were staying at the lodge. We stayed at the shelter there. Why not? It was free! Rob, thanks again for the lift to the trailhead! You were a huge help!

3/8 Breakfast with Amy's parents at Amicolola Lodge. Took a while to get packed up and organized for the first day's trek. Hiked 11:30 to about 16:30/17:00, 7.5 miles or so. Only hiked about a mile or so on the actual AT. Officially reached the Southern Terminus at Springer Mountain. 1st time cooking with Rockstar stove. Slept in the shelter loft at Springer Mtn.

3/9 Rained like crazy last night. When we got to Hawk Mtn, Will said there were about 30 ppl there last night all headed for Gooch shelter. We were going to stay at Hawk, but decided to go ahead to find water and camp there. Hiked 14 miles, shockingly and thankfully no rain at all, 2500 ft camping elev at Justice Creek. Met Headin Out and his wife Just Taggin Along from Michigan, second time doing AT. Broke Gatorade cap today. Hot spots on feet and sore hips.

3/10 first trail magic, styrofoam container with packed bags. Orange, ding dong, chips, coke. Jim Dog and Suzanne, first trail angels at Woody's Gap, had more goodies for hikers and said son White Fang, and friend Dr. Bundy ahead. 10 miles to Lance creek. Another hiker said they saw a bear, but we didn't see it.

3/11 Blisters and hot spots not too bad today. Cut blisters open last night before bed to drain. Hiked 7 miles to Neels Gap where there was a mountain shop. $3 shower, $3 laundry. Weighed in at 30 pounds with a little water left. Got resupply box for the next 3-4 days out on trail. Had 2 dinners, 1 breakfast, and 4 1000 calorie packs left. Set off with 3 dinners, 3 lunches, 3 breakfasts, 6 1000 calorie packs, protein mix, and an extra bag of misc food. I've realized I'm currently carrying more food than I need to and almost forcing some food down to make sure I'm packing in calories. My body needs to figure this out. However, we have heard that after about 3 weeks, eating will get more intense. Sent home sunglasses, thermal top, fleece top. Had a $5 hiker special: hotdog, soda, and candy bar. Filled up water and weighed out at 35 pounds. Pumped! Now to get down to 30! Chris isn't too happy after weighing out at 47 pounds, which is two pounds heavier than when we started 4 days ago! We're supposed to get lighter Chris! The guy eats like an animal and hikes like one too. Go figure, the lightest guy has the heaviest pack. I'm determined he'll be I've of the lightest in the end. Hiked an additional 1.5 miles or so and set up camp. $5 special not so special. End up camping right next to 3 guys. Dr. Bundy says his name and I realize that his buddy must be White Fang! Stoked not only to have run into these guys, but to camp right next to them too! We chatted about gear and experiences around a fire. Good times and spirits high! Temps on the other hand looking to be a little low tonight. 31 degrees we were told. Oh well, no rain, so I'm alright with that.


  1. So good to meet you Ryan and glad you ran into White Fang and Dr. Bundy. Will be praying and watching for your successful journey! Suzanne and Jim Dawg.

  2. Sounds like it's certainly been an adventure to this point! I've been checking the blog about once a week... you write pretty good for an ex-scheduler!
    Sucks that felt crummy, but it sounds like the meds are fixing that up!
    I have been amazed by the support you have found along the way, I had no idea that folks left "stuff" trail side, ran shuttles etc. !
    You've mentioned other folk's trail names...what are you going by?

    I'm heading for Merced on Tuesday the 27th, fly back on 4/6...anybody you want me to update?

    All for now,
    Keep Going!