It is said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. What they forgot to mention is that it also begins with a properly fitted backpack, lots of planning and permission from your wife. My personal journey along the 2,175 mile long Appalachian Trail began in 2010 and will likely continue for many years to come as I attempt to section hike the entire trail before my time here on earth is up. Happy trails!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Hiker Hostel
We arrive at the hostel and Josh informs us that someone will be taking us to the Walmart in Dahlonega soon so we can resupply on anything that we need. Grayson stays behind at the hostel to collect his thoughts as I head into Dahlonega to get us some dinner and a few extra things that I forgot to bring.
I return with one of Subway's best $5 foot long subs for Grayson. He is still kind of quite, but I think he enjoyed every last crumb of that sandwich. After dinner, we get to know our new surroundings and try to find out a little bit about some of the other hikers that are bunking with us for the night.
Grayson and I are staying in a small room that has two bunk beds in it. Our fellow bunkers are Bill (from New Jersey) and Ollie (from Munich). There are also others from such places as Kentucky, New York, Indiana and South Carolina. Most of the hikers are young, energetic twenty-somethings (like Grayson). But there are also a few "seasoned" hikers there too... one lady was probably in her mid 50's and couple of other dudes were well over 60.
Later that evening as I sat outside and socialized with some of the other hikers I almost forgot that I was probably considered an "older hiker" to most of them too. I said I "almost" forgot but reality quickly slapped me in the face as I attempted to join in on the conversations. There was a hiker named "Turtle Shell" explaining that her hike that day was "dope" and another guy from Long Island explaining how "sick" his back pack was. I just smiled and nodded as if I knew what was going on and occasionally threw in phrases like "yeah... word" and "that's bogus". I eventually stopped embarrassing myself, made some coffee and went upstairs to hang with Grayson and do some reading.
Next morning I was the first one up. Thanks to my restless 4 year old daughter, my internal alarm clock is forever set for about 5:30 a.m. I really didn't mind getting up that early since it gave me first crack at getting a hot shower and gave me time to make sure my backpack was ready for the day's hike. Josh and Leigh (the owners of the hostel) had breakfast ready for everyone by 7:30 a.m which meant that most of my new young "peeps" rolled out of bed around 7:29 a.m.
We all ate like kings and soon loaded up the shuttle for the quick 7 mile ride back to Woody Gap for the start of our hike.