Day one was great! Did the Approach Trail up the bizillon steps, 8 miles later I was at the start of the AT. The falls were beautiful. Camped at Hawk Mtn shelter with a fun group.
After a 17 mile first day I was set to do 22 to get to Neel Gap. Only one other guy was planning the same miles. Headed out feeling good, got over Sassafras Mtn still thought t I could make it. Unfortunately by the time I got to Woody Gap I realized I was behind and had a choice to make. See the last 5 miles into Neel Gap a bear canister is required (to camp). I don’t have one & there is a $300 fine if you get caught. So I would HAVE to push all the way over Blood Mtn, possibly night making it til 9pm.
Or hike only 4 miles, camp get the next morning. I really hated not making it and figured the other guy was well ahead of me. But then the guy walks up while I’m sulking. Oh he says glad to see ya, I was sure you were up ahead!
Turns out neither of us had it in us to make that push over Blood Mtn. Oh well we found a great camp spot and are resting up to tackle it tomorrow. On the AT it’s not the miles that get ya, it’s the mountains!
For my first trail magic today! A while bags of mini Snickers, Twix and rice krispy treats from a guy named Dr Pepper with the outdoors ministries! Also talked to some Army Rangers who were training. Later when I saw them at their base camp they flagged me down. One the guys says I got something for ya. He says it’s not alcohol (we had talked about doing shots earlier). He have me some fruity hand sanitizer! Didn’t make Neel Gap but it was a good day!
Thanks to everyone that helped me get to the trail! My sister for driving out from Mississippi and grabbing me at the airport. Thanks to my old friend JD for taking me out for a tasty lunch before dropping me at the transit center to catch the shuttle to the hostel.