After about 2 years of planning, myself an my friend Brian are finally in Georgia ready to hike the AT. This last week has been a sprint to get ready with the first full test packing of my final gear load-out only happening last night. It felt like some divine entity had their finger squarely on the fast forward button.
This feeling continued until we boarded our plane. We had originally arrived at the terminal early with the plan of spending some leisurely time with our better halves. When the Delta rep gave us the option to take an earlier flight my initial reaction was “No” until she informed us later flights would likely be canceled due to the ice storm barreling in towards Atlanta. I still had time to grab a quick breakfast with Liz, but it was too short.
Once on the plane everything seemed to slow down. Brian made a comment, which I agree with, about how surreal it was to take a one way plane trip with the intention of walking home. Bags and hiking poles made it through ok which was almost surprising. We then took the MARTA train to the end of the line and had an uneventful taxi ride to our hotel, (we have some crazy taxi stories from our dry run last year when we hiked the Georgia section). Due to the ice we’re looking at spending at least one more day holed up here before we can get dropped off at the approach trail. The plan then is to hike the approach trail, (roughly 6 miles), and spend the night at a lodge near the top of it. If all goes well we should then hit Springer mountain and the official start of the AT early Thursday.
As much as I’d like to have spent tomorrow’s zero day back in New Hampshire, I’m glad we made it here. This trip has been casting its shadow on me for so long it’s good to finally be fully committed to it. Brian and I were just talking at dinner about how we can’t wait to start hiking. I had made an earlier joke about if I didn’t get on the trail soon my hiking pants would no longer fit, and the cheesy bread and cheesy lobster dip, (with a salad to make me feel slightly less gluttonous), certainly didn’t disprove that theory.
I plan on taking advantage of the lull tomorrow to catch up on my emails and get a few loose strings taken care of. There’s a slight chance we might actually start the trail too if this weather front passes us by so I better get some rest.