First Days of Trail Life

Hiking the AT, Day 2 on the trail. March 23, 2015.

We’re tenting tonight near Hawk Mountain Shelter. We found the perfect place to set up our camp, just up from the water source and far enough away from the shelter to not be disturbed by other hikers (or the privy)! There’s a beautiful view, babbling brook that’s audible from our tent, and a nice log to seat several people with a small, flat rock in front for a sturdy stove stand.
Today’s hike from Springer Mountain was absolutely gorgeous! After climbing the 475 stairs to the Amicalola Falls and then up the approach trail to Springer in off and on rain all day yesterday, we were grateful to wake up to a bright sunny morning today. The rain kept Moonbow and I awake all through the night. Our homemade meals have been delicious so far and every other hiker who asks about our food has been jealous! Last night we ate our version of chiles rellenos, followed by rice pudding dessert, and tonight we ate burrito bowls! The only thing missing tonight was some hot sauce. 
  
We spent far too much time trying to hang our bear bag (the tent bag works AWESOME for this, btwz) because there were only four hooks for at least three times as many filled tent sites here. So far we’ve seen about 30 people on the trail, and 5 dogs (not including families and tourists on day hikes), but haven’t yet made close friends. Last night we shared a couple of bites with newlyweds we met at the shelter where we cooked and saw them again today, but haven’t made a point too seek out anyone else’s company.
Signing off because my fingers are cold and the daylight is gone now.
-Lightning Bug
 —————– 
Hiking the AT, Day 5 on the trail. March 26, 2015.

We just arrived at Neel’s Gap in Blairsville, GA. We woke up extra early this morning to race our new trail friends to the Blood Mountain Cabins for a warm, dry place to spend the night.

Today’s hike was definitely the toughest hike we’ve had so far. We climbed over 1600 feet in elevation (then back down) in 7.4 miles. We completed the hike in just under 4 hours and were able to get our own cabin, rather than sharing with a handful of other stinky thru-hikers. 

  

Some of our closest trail friends are a family from Perth, Australia! They don’t have official trail names yet, but they mentioned they’d all go by “Aussie Legs” as a collective for now. We all happen to be camping at the same spots along the Appalachian Trail for these first couple of weeks.

In some ways the AT is like adult camp– we had a great time last night hanging out in a cozy cabin with lots of new trail friends: Aussie legs girls, a guy we call Just Gary, a group of four guys who sing a lot, and A guy named crabby beard who looks just like Hagrid from Harry Potter. We are having fun getting to know new and interesting people. 

Now we are saying goodbye to our warm cabin and the nearby lodge and getting ready to get back to five more days of hiking before next stop.  

Some songs that have been stuck in our head while we walk:

  • “Let It Go” – Idina Menzel, Frozen Soundtrack
  • “Circle of Life” – Lion King
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver
  • “Take a Walk” – Passion Pit 
  • “Story of My Life” – One Direction
  • “Optimist” – P.O.S.
  • “They Don’t Work for Us” – Sims
  • “Take Your Medicine” – Cloud Cult
  • “Find Your Love” – Drake
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