If not now, then when?

My wife and I have a tradition that we get to dictate the schedule for the week of our birthday and the other doesn’t complain, so I had tentatively inserted a week of vacation into my calendar for Fall, next year 2019, for a thru-hike of the GA section of the AT during the week of my birthday. Then she got talking to one of her American Heritage Girls moms about her overnight section hike. All of a sudden, my wife picks Thanksgiving weekend of this year and tells me that’s when I can go. I didn’t even start the topic, she did! I had actually been planning to take the family to a two-night visit at Hike Inn first Spring of 2019, with a day trip to Springer Mountain so I could use that as a gear shakedown. Our calendar is so packed I’m not sure I can squeeze a Hike Inn visit before Thanksgiving.

It may be silly, but I want the bragging rights that come with obtaining the Georgia Thru-Hiker Patch. I’ll get a few, one to sew on my pack and another 1-2 to wear on my BSA uniform.

I’ve been geeking-out on AT hike gear, slowly making a collection. It hasn’t gone un-noticed by her. It’s hard to ignore when I play The First 40 Miles podcast for the whole house to hear. I’d been mentally prepared to take hike with some slightly chilly nights, so I’m not sure what a late November trip will surprise me with in terms of cold weather. I think with my existing gear, I can stay warm enough at night with a tent, 30 degree synthetic bag, and bag liner. I put fresh Seam Sealer 3 on all my backpacking tents this past weekend.

During lunch this week, I did some math on hiking 80-ish miles in 4 days, especially with the steep grades I already know about (and have day hiked) at Amicalola. It would be a strenuous hike to get it done. To prep, I’m thinking I may should work at Amicalola State Park’s lodge and take my pack up and down the stairs by the waterfall for my lunch break. I’ve gone up to the waterfall overlook and back down to the visitor center carrying a 1-year-old the whole way. The last time I did it, my legs were a wobbly mess at the end, so I know I need to prep to make sure the whole hike isn’t miserable. Worst case, I’ve done workouts at home where I go upstairs, and back down like a crazy person for 100 floors, or as many as 300 floors. That gives my calves a good workout.