View Full Version : AT observations

04-06-2008, 10:24
This past week Maps and I hiked sobo from Woody Gap to Amicalola. Driving down from NJ this was a big event and effort. We have some experience hiking in NJ/NY and couldn't wait to start out, knowing we would pass numerous nobo hikers made it even more interesting. Greg from Maryland was the first, then OHM, then an easy 70 more over the next three days. The Trail in Ga was well kept, the shelters new, the privys, compared to Brink Rd in NJ, nice. We embraced everything, starting out in fog, rain and mud. The climbs both up and down. Stinking. The weight of our packs, but most of all the nobos. We stopped and talked to those that were receptive, most were, but some simply nodded and blew past us. We tried to help simply by sharing info, fill up at the Hawk Mountain Shelter, picking up Kevin from KC's lost Columbia hat and sending it north via AT mail, hope he got it. Meeting hikers from all over the world made it interesting we all had the Trail in common and for a few moments were friends.

The Trail holds mystery around every turn, embrace it. The most surreal part of our hike had to be the soldiers from a local military base. We came down into a gap and stopped to talk to a young couple settling in for the night when soldiers began to appear out of the brush. They set up perimeter security, spoke in hushed tones, pointed a lot, then a ranking officer came over and asked the young gentleman, "what kind of flower is this?" It was Blood Root. They then just picked up and moved on. Surreal.

My only advice here will be to pack light, if you are setting off and asking, oh say, me, to go through your pack, you aren't ready. When we got up onto Springer and spoke with Many Sleeps, he shared some hilarious stories about packs and stuff he has mailed home for people. He was a pleasure to speak with and a true AT Celeb if you ask me. Live long Many Sleeps.

My only gripe is the hikers with dogs, clean their crap off the trail, I kicked two piles off the trail. I've been cleaning dog crap in my yard for years I shouldn't have to do it on the AT. If you want to carry the 20 pounds of dog food, go at it. It will be miserable.

All this adventure did was whet my appetite for more. I now watch the weather channel hoping my new friends are dry, warm and moving north. I look forward to 2010.

This trail is all about the people. ANKH

04-06-2008, 10:57
Cool, man. Those soldiers were probably doing the Mountain Phase of Ranger School. It's based out of Camp Merrill, which is within 5 miles of the trail. I hope they're there when I roll through this summer.

04-06-2008, 16:14
Yup, thats exactly where they were from. Full battle gear, 10 days in the woods, and we also crossed by the other "team" that were waiting in ambush, which we heard after dark. The CO told us feel free to walk through, no pictures please. ankh