February 23Random middle of the night thoughts: it takes skills to sleep on your side in a hammock, and I got them. I did, however, set up my hammock lopsided, so, I’ve been slowly slipping toward the foot. It’s a fairly easy fix, but it’s cold and I don’t want to get up. And since it’s quarter til 6, I’m going back to sleep for a bit. I’m still really sore, and I’m about two days away from where I want to take a break.
Bleh. I’ll get up. It’s just after 6, the sun is still below the horizon, but I’m gonna get up. Right now, I have my pants shoved into my top quilt with me to warm them up a bit before I put them on. Then I’m going to make a visit to the privy and start packing up.
I’ve mentioned the privies, but haven’t actually talked about them, so I will now. The Georgia Appalachian Trail Conservancy builds and maintains all the shelters in Georgia. They made a transition to moldering privies a few years ago. Basically, it’s a small building with no door that is slightly elevated from the surrounding area. There is one toilet, and everyone uses it until the area under is full, then they move the seat to the other side. They maintain bacterial colonies in the storage areas to help break everything down. Hey, I think it’s kind of cool.
Anyway, my pants warmed up, so I’m off to start my day.
So, heading out at 7:13. Not bad for someone who’s not a morning person.
So, the plan was to make the next shelter, Woods Hole. I’m about 3.5 miles from it right now. I made the decision to stay here tonight, because people are reporting that the creek at Woods Hole is dry, and I’d like to camp near water whenever possible. So, it’s kind of chilly right now, but I’ve got a place where I’m near water and other hikers, just not right on top of anyone. It’s 7.4 miles from here to Neel Gap, and I’m hoping to get there before Mountain Crossings closes. If not, I’ll camp nearby and get a shakedown the next day.
I’m also planning on staying at the hostel there at least one night, to take a shower and wash all my clothes. I’m also hoping to get a decent resupply so I won’t need to stop again until Haiawassee.
Actually, looking into the hostel situation, there is another one just down the road with a better deal (for me). Mountain Crossings only has a bunkhouse, and I’d be renting a bed, but would still need my top quilt to sleep there, whereas the hostel down the road rents out cabins. Granted, it costs more, but I’m willing to pay it to have privacy and bedsheets.
Anyway, that’s tomorrow. It’s about seven miles, and the last four are Blood Mountain, the biggest mountain in the GA section.
So, to talk about the not so fun parts of this: I was clipping my toenails, and one started oozing. That’s probably going to fall off soon. Truthfully, I’m probably going to lose most of my toenails (most people do, and everyone looses at least one). It’s also supposed to storm tomorrow night, and tonight might get below freezing. At least, that’s what one guy said, my weather source is saying lows around 49. Granted, by Saturday, it will be below freezing, but I’ll deal with that as it comes.
I may just zero on Saturday, update this, do my laundry, and rest. Part of me wants to anyway, as hiking six days and resting one is a good plan at the start, but the rest knows that doing so will just make it harder to go the next day. I’ll do a bit of soul searching on that while I walk tomorrow.
It’s presently 6:20, I’ve had dinner (a trail angel I ran into earlier gave me a Knorr pasta side, so I had that), my food is hanging from the bear cables, and I’m hanging around, waiting on the sun to set.
Oh! That reminds me! There has been trail magic all along the trail in the form of gallon jugs of fresh water, and at Woody Gap this afternoon I met a pair of trail angels. I got two dinners, some hot cocoa, and some snacks for my hike. They also offered to fill up my water, but I’d already topped off at a spring a ways back. So, yeah. If you live anywhere near the trail and want to meet a bunch of new friends, load up your car with cheap snacks, or beer, or soda, or whatever, and hang out at a road crossing. The hikers will come, and will be very appreciative.
Reading my entries to proofread them (cold fingers make mistakes), I’m noticing that I’m just writing what comes to mind as it does. I’m not going to apologize for it, I’m just noticing that I’m doing it.
Also, the pants thing: I’m sleeping in my long underwear, I just take off the pants I was hiking in at night. They’re dirty, plus, the pockets are uncomfortable.