First Day on AT

Destination: Hawk Mountain Campsite Today's Miles: 14.70 Start Location: Hike Inn parking lot Trip Miles: 15.95

Tonight was my first day hiking the Appalachian Trail. I started at Amicalola Falls with the whole family and after about 2 miles, the girls turned around and went back. My son drove me all the way to Springer Mountain and still ran around the parking lot while we waited for my wife to pick him up and bring me dinner.Water is heavy. I could feel my left knee protest, but honestly, I don’t want to filter any water. I think I drank about 3.5 liters today, and I’m still not really hydrated.

I met some guys on the trail that were headed for Hawk Mountain Camp, which was like 5 miles more than I had planned. When I did some quick math, I figured going to Hawk would get me to camp just before sundown (by 20 min) and put me at 7.3 miles instead of 2 something. If I do a 20 mile day tomorrow, Monday is only like a 3 mile stroll and the family can pick me up on their way to Vogel around noon. Going so late was pretty stupid. I passed a lot of campers who pitched as early as 3:00pm. By the time I devoured a chicken stick and ProBar, I had just enough time to pitch the hammock, change, and move the bear container downhill.

I’m walking so hard, skipping so many stops thta I’m not having fun. The pack is too heavy, my knee is sore, and I need someone to hike with. This isn’t like mountain biking on my feet.

I came out here to do things which I can’t do at Sawnee or Amicalola. I wanted to try hiking in a damn kilt! I thought if I came 15 miles into the wilderness, I wouldn’t see any kids or Cub Scouts or anyone to potentially offend at home. So fine, the kit looks like a skirt, except for panels that overlap in the front, designed by Purple Rain, another hiker. I also don’t have to go to church in the morning!

So I thought I would write a lot of amazing, thoughtful, insightful material out here. I brought the big Rite in the Rain pad for it - but I’m tired and I have a feeling I’ll be getting up early. I don’t seem to have any Internet here, so syncing my Fitbit may be difficult.

I have no idea what time it is. 8-something, 9-something? I heard a noise in the direction of my Garcia container.

Ok, I moved it. Now my heavy, universally approved bear canister is in the construction job box 8 campsites down the hill. My container was covered in ants. Good thing everything inside was divided into ziploc bags?

Someone told me this campsite has 30 individual sites and I took the first one. It has a nice slanted spot for my hammock and a rock under it I can step on and rest my shoes off the dirt.

Today I hiked half the day with my son and half alone. Hiking alone wasn’t as much fun. I can see why people form tramilies. Hiking the AT with some scouts might be fun, though. I’ll get this kilt thing off my bucket list and then I’m not sure what I’ll do with my other Purple Rain gear. I’m glad I only brought one, though. My pack is heavy enough as it is.

Next time I would try rubber tips on my trekking poles. I don’t want to stab these carbide tips on the stones.

I hope the family didn’t drive off a cliff side. They seemed a bit concerned about that being an actual possibility. I want service on my phone to get and send updates. I have a whole bag of baby wipes at 14oz. I used 3 today. I wonder if the weight is worth it.

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