Today is our first zero day. Well, "Nero" day----i think we're going to hike out a mile or so and pitch our hammocks after a long day of rest today. Last night, we hiked into the Mountain Crossings Hiker Hostel in Neels Gap. What an oasis! We heard that they fill the bunks on a first come first serve basis, so when we finally descended Blood Mountain (the highest elevation on the AT in Georgia) around 6:30, we were'nt sure there would be a spot for us.
There were 3 beds left and dinner was to be served in a few minutes. For dinner? Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, rice, rolls, pasta salad, pineapple upside down cake, brownies and sweet tea. It'd only been four days that we'd been eating freeze dried food, but we stuffed ourselves like it'd been months. We got a shower, washed our clothing and slept on a real mattress and stayed up late around a campfire.
Anyway, the first 4 days were great. We've been hiking in the best weather (60 and sunny) and have some pretty good mileage under our belts already (38 miles!) and have already met dozens of really awesome people.
Here's the wrap:
On the first day we hiked the access trail at Amicalola Falls state park. The first mile was an 800 step staircase....
Our second night we camped at the Hawk Mountain shelter with over 30 thru & section hikers.
Day three we hiked 12 miles & climbed Ramrock mountain and because the shelter was too far for us to reach that day, we picthed our hammocks on the ridge overlooking the row of mountains that we had climbed up and down that day
Yesterday, we ran into a guy celebrating his 81st birthday by summiting Big Cedar Mountain, we hiked up Blood Mountain and then back down to the Hiker Hostel for a little R&R.
It's kind of like when we take a picture of an incredible mountian vista and what shows up on the camera screen really has no resemblence; its hard to really describe a day-in-the-life here. It's good though, life is good. And we'll post the pictures anyway : )
Thanks for your messages!
Thinking about you always
Jess & Mal (and Angie)