Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Devil Went Down To Georgia

When I drove from Vermont to Colorado this winter, I did eighteen hours in the car on my first day and ended up in Iowa City, Iowa. That was a piece of cake compared to the seventeen and a half hours from Bethel to Georgia. We left Bethel at 8pm on Friday and after picking Alice up in Brattleboro, made it to Georgia by 1:30pm. Everyone took their turns driving, sleeping, eating, and keeping the music and car games going. We're staying in a timeshare in Helen, Georgia and it is a super cute town. Definitely touristy, but has a lot of charm, the Chattahoochee River, and is obviously a summer hot spot. I finally was able to meet Audrey when we picked her up from the bus stop tonight, and she is a total hoot! I cannot wait to get to know her better over the coming months.

Alice, Audrey, and myself have decided to "slack pack" the approach trail to the top of Springer Mountain - the official start of the AT. Slack-packing is a term used for hiking a (usually longer) distance without your pack. Generally someone will drop you off at a road crossing, you'll hike all day, and then get picked up at another road crossing at the end of the day. This allows for more miles per day, because you aren't schlepping 25-40lbs on your back. We will hike the approach trail from Amicalola Falls to the peak of Springer Mountain, the Southern Terminus of the AT. From there, we will hike a mere one mile to the first road crossing, get picked up by Dad and Stacey, and then spend one more night at our condo. This week will certainly be a nice and slow ease back into the backpacking life. We're all excited with the plan to keep it low key and make sure we get our legs underneath us and our gear perfected before attempting any high mile days.

Aside from all of that, the south sure is interesting. I had thought with  living in Houston that I had a good grasp on many of the feelings of the south. However, living in the fourth largest city in the country sure is different from exploring northern Georgia. The landscape is stunning; very similar to Vermont. We didn't see daylight today until some point in Virginia, and we were so surprised with how green everything is down here so early in the year.

I am so excited to get everything started. I need to get my feet on the trail, see the white blazes (trail markers) on the trail, and start a routine. While this week is going to be fun, relaxing, and smooth... At some point we need to bite the bullet and enter trail life completely. That will most likely come later this week when we say goodbye to Dad and Stacey. I'll really miss having them around.

So after being awake for nearly forty hours, it is most definitely time for bed. 


  1. Hope you get some rest after all that!

  2. Years ago, David and I camped in Shenandoah Nat. Park and were struck by how beautiful and similar Virginia is to Vermont. It was one of our favorite states on the cross country camping trip. (Yeah, I camped!) Love you! Mom

  3. Sounds exhausting, I hope you were able to sleep well last night! I can't wait to hear more :)

  4. So happy I was able to be part of this amazing experience. So proud of you and I will miss you tons!! xoxo