Day one…what the hell was I thinking. I have to say this is a hundred times harder than I ever imagined, but can’t say I’d rather be anywhere else.
The day started with a crazy shuttle ride to the base of Springer. Nine twenty four year olds, a 72 year old, and myself. Guess who I’m hiking with. Bugsy is from Colorado and hikes a lot so she kicks butt. We hiked together the whole day and made it to Hawk Mountain at 8.3 miles.
Day two we hiked over 3 small (???) ridges and Sassafras Mountain, which hikers call Kickyourass mtn. and spent the night in Cooper Gap. I have muscles screaming and am already about to lose some toenails.
The trail is more an obstacle course at times. The rocks are knee high and to step over them is really difficult with a 35 lb pack on your back. I’ve only fallen backwards once, creating the turtle pose.
Day three we hiked Justice Mtn and stopped after 5 miles because a storm was coming in. The shelter held 14 hikers and we fit 17 plus 3 under it, 1 on the picnic table and 2 under the table. The people I’ve met are really the kindest and stinkiest!
Day four I woke up at 5 am and listened to Peach pack up his pack to start his final hike of 18 miles to Springer. He was a southbound hiker and finishing. He gave away everything he will no longer need, but my pack is still exploding. We started early and made it to Lance Creek for a wet night. On the way I saw three huge eagles that were soaring within 50 ft from me. NICE!
Day five, today, we hiked the dreaded Blood Mountain. Tallest mountain in Georgia and one mile straight up, two miles down. All of it is scrambling over boulders. When we made it to Neels Gap at the bottom, some guy we met decided we deserved pizza so he ordered us a couple. Four pieces. Hiker hunger is kicking in!
Right now we are splurging and staying in a cheap motel in Blairsville, Georgia. Laundry done, showers done and I’m done!