Day 8: Red Things


Red day lily at the Top of Georgia Hostel in Hiawassee. 

I nearoed in to Top of Georgia this morning and finally got a coveted cup of hot coffee (mediocre, but there was real cream to liven it up) and an even more coveted hot shower.  I was in there for a very long time.

Dang if the Boy Scouts didn’t catch up to me here.

Scrubs—not a selling point, man.

Also, they give you scrubs to wear while they do your laundry.   It’s actually a selling point!  I declined, having decided to be done with health care and, by extension, hideous, hideous scrubs for EVER.  In town, though, I spotted a couple of hikers in scrubs hobbling away from the grocery, looking a little lost and vaguely like they’d escaped the mental hospital.  

Like I said, not a selling point! 

More red things:


Red toad. 




Wild azaleas. 




Fire pinks. 




Leftover from last year? 


Day 7: Danger Noodle!


Weird, glorious day today, with only a rattlesnake for company.  Seriously, I didn’t see a single person.  Not one.  I’m at mile 65.7—Deep Gap Shelter—and not one soul is here.

But it’s early and that could change.  I think I finally escaped the unfriendly Boy Scouts.  I’d been leap frogging them for three days and last saw one of their leaders at the Blue Mountain Shelter where I stopped for lunch.  The 12 of them were staying there as was another group of 13 plus at least 4 others I’d camped with the night before.  So, skedaddle I did! 

Today was a good day for toads. 


How do they get up there?  I mean, where do they lay their eggs when there are no ponds?

How do they get up there?  I mean, where do they lay their eggs when there are no ponds?

And the first Indian Pipes of the year.



And a refreshing head dunk!


How inviting!

How inviting!


Tomorrow I nearo in to the Top of Georgia hostel.  Shower first, then beer.

Catching Up With Myself

Day 2 atLong Creek Falls

Day 2 atLong Creek Falls

I’m not hiking that far every day, so I don’t know how the days go by so fast) and the blog goes so neglected).  Tonight I’m at mile 54.  Snail’s pace. Which I love.  Here are some highlights.

The baby owl cuteness is ongoing.   Three owlets live at the Gooch Mountain Shelter and mama owl circles the shelter cleaning up mice.  Every shelter needs an owl with hungry babies.



This is Crazy Carl.  He’s from Florida and never backpacked before.  He’s got a chair.  A cot.  A fishing pole.  But no water filter.  Section hikers are awesome! 



I’m negative two for trail magic.  Negative one was an abandoned cooler full of trash on a dirt road.  Negative two was a Boy Scout leader standing on the trail with a cooler.  When I made a move towards it (as we do out here), the Cooler Ogre blocked me and told me it was just for the scouts.  Unclear on the concept of trail magic, I guess.  He should at least hide the thing in the bushes. 



Made it to Mountain Crossings for a resupply and got my trail magic on there.  Hitched down to the Dollar General for chips and Triscuits.  Mmmmmmmm, salty crunchy things!  The guy who picked me up —Mike from Augusta—was headed in the other direction.  He turned around, took me to the store, waited, then brought me back to Neels Gap, where I did not shower, but I did drink coffee and charge my phone.  Just another day on the trail. 



Today was a good day for a head dunk.  Since I didn’t get a shower yesterday. 



View from Blood Mountain—Atlanta visible from the top.  I camped a mile below the summit in an area where bear canisters are required.  I don’t have a bear canister.  I’m glad I didn’t have to hike to the outfitter and buy a whole new food bag and a complete resupply.  Like Margaret and Neal from Illinois did after a bear broke the branch and took their food they’d hung on said branch. 

I throw a mean bear bag.  (Now I hope I don’t regret saying that!) 


Tonight’s bear bag installment. 

Tonight’s bear bag installment. 

Now, let me go find my Advil before it’s time for bed. 


Springer Mountain Start


Back on the trail and blogging badly on my phone.  Decided to start at Springer instead of picking up at Standing Bear and hiking south.  Good decision.  Met Gilgamesh and Sarah at Springer Shelter.  This morning, Ralph slack packed me to the top of Amicalola Falls (yay!) after we watched baby owls settling down for the day.  To much cute!

Hiked 9 miles. I’m a little sore.