Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike, Georgia to North Carolina

Written by Afterburner. Added on March 30, 2006.

This travelogue was written while hiking the Appalachian Trail. Every once in a while Afterburner had a chance to let us all know about what he had seen and where he was.

Well, it sure has been interesting, the mountains in Georgia are nothing like home. There sure are a lot of them, and I have hiked most of them. A previous thru hiker told me to look to the horizon and pick out the two biggest ones I see, and before the day is over, you will hike both of them. Well he was wrong, I hiked over more than two a day. Hiked thru a Ice storm at Nells Gap, a snow storm at Trey mountain and rain at Alberts Mountain.

Ran into some “trail magic” at Bear Paw trail. Previous thru hikers had set up a big tent for anyone to sleep in, when I arrived at 4:00 PM, they were cooking quesadillas for the hikers, said that spaghetti was for supper, and when they said we were having fresh blueberry pancakes for breakfast, I didn’t need any more convincing, I was staying. Was set up by Gatoraide, Flatbread & Fishin’ Fred.

Fishin’ Fred thru hiked in 1998, when he ran into Gatoraide doing trail magic. Fred had a very bad ankle when he came into camp. There was this man from Florida set up to help the hikers. He helped Fred and Fred noticed that he didn’t have a trail name, so he said you are from Florida and you came to my aid, so I will call you Gatoraide, and the name stuck. Fred stayed for the next two months to help them out. They all get together for the summer at Bear Paw until the hikers come thru, then move to Damascus for trail days, and then on to Maine to set up. Hope to see them again.

Ran across a bear at Unicoi Gap, coming dowm from Trey Mt. It was last year’s cub, and later I found out it was an orphan. When I got to Hiawasee, I told the owners of the Hiawasee Inn and they said they would call the rangers in the morning to go pick it up. It was very skinny and would not last too long on its own.

Many hikers have dropped off the trail, most due to injury and knee problems. My right knee was bothering me, so today I soaked it in the river for 45 minutes and now feels great. Arrived at Nantahala Outdoor Center yesterday, today is a much needed down day. This place has white water kayaking, mountain biking and hiking facilities, a great place to relax. Oh yeah, by the way, they also have a great restaurant here! Can’t get over the number of single young women that are hiking the trail this year, they are a tough bunch, and great companions when we get into camp or towns.

Have hiked a total of 134 miles so far and still feel pretty good. Next update will be Hot Springs North Carolina in about 10 days. Yes, I have hikes 75 miles thru Georgia and 60 into North Carolina.

Well, see ya down the trail
Afterburner

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

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