Day 1: Amicalola Falls State Park to Black Gap Shelter, 7.3 miles
Day 2: Black Gap Shelter to Hawk Mountain Shelter, 9.6 miles
Day 3: Hawk Mountain Shelter to Gooch Mountain Shelter, 7.7 miles
Day 4: Gooch Mountain Shelter to Lance Creek Campsites, 8.5 miles
Day 5: Lance Creek Campsites to Neels Gap, 7.4 miles
Day 6: Neels Gap to Low Gap Shelter, 11.5 miles
Day 7: Low Gap Shelter to Blue Mountain Shelter, 7.3 miles
We have both said in our own way that this journey has thus far been the best time in our entire lives. We have both had many adventures in our life, so to say it has been the best of all our experiences is something that took us by surprise. The fulfilment is so great, it is a close second to our love for each other.
We are about to start Day 7. Our bodies are sore from our 11.5 mile hike yesterday, so today we will take it easy with a 7 mile hike. It has been fascinating to see what our bodies are capable of. You think you do not have another mountain climb in you and then you do three more. Our bodies recover so well overnight. We are both realizi8ng just how true it is that the mind limits you more than anything else.
Some of our favorite moments from the trail:
-Eric lost his underwear the first morning out. He walked all around camp and wandered around the woods asking anyone he saw if they saw his underwear. Kristin watched all of this in a laughing fit. He finally did find his underwear, safely packed away in a sleeping bag. This has led to Eric’s trail name, “Quailman”. If you’ve ever seen the show ‘Doug’, the you’ll understand the reference. If not, the following picture might help.
-Feeling like a thru hiker has just started to occur. At first we felt awkward introducing ourselves and asking others if they were also heading north to Maine. We would determine if the people we ran across were strange or normal and wondered what they would categorize us as. Yesterday was the first time we didn’t care and just got really excited amongst all the weekend day hikers to see either familiar faces or other thru hikers we hadn’t met yet, When we made it to Low Gap Shelter, we were also warmly welcomed by all the lovely folks there. We all shared a little something about ourselves around the fire and stayed up way past our usual bedtime of 8pm. We shared some whiskey that Eric and I brought and another couple hikimg together shared theirs. Last night was a special night for us and a first real taste of the hiker commnity I’ve read so much about,
– Weather is awesome. We have had both very clear and sunny days and also foggy and wet days. Both provided amazing visuals. On Blood Mountain, we had a clear view and could see forever, layers and layers of mountains. The days leading up to that were misty and foggy. Those days were just as amazing! The mist surrounded us on all sides, giving the woods a magical feel. It felt like we had stepped into the old mythical forests you read about in stories. We kept expecting trolls to pop out from under bridges to ask us “these questions three”. Also really cool to observe were the microclimates we came across. We would hike for a mile in the snow and, without warning, it would be ten degrees warmer and there would be no snow anywhere. It was like someone had planted different movie sets for us to walk through, except these are real. Nature is awesome.
Here are some photo highlights of our first week 🙂