Saturday, December 10, 2011

42 days, 17 states & 7,100 miles

On Oct. 24, we finished our hike on the Appalachian Trail after 141 days, 14 states and 2,181 miles and took a train to Danville to pick up supplies and our vehicle.

42 days, 17 states and 7,100 miles later, we are back in Danville for a "resupply."

After leaving Florida, we made our way north, hitting 2 more high points (#s 23 & 24) along the way.

Georgia's Brasstown Bald stands at 4,784 feet, which sounds more exciting & challenging than some of the others we've done, but it's not because you can drive most of the way up. It is not a true "bald" like the ones we went over on the AT because it is not treeless. But it does have 360-degree views. Except when you are up there during a rainstorm. Because then all you get is pea soup. We also chose the wrong season; the visitor center and the bathrooms at the top were closed for the year. All I can say is that the exhibits looked awesome through the windows and it's a good thing we know how to dig a hole.









The one very good thing about GA's high point was that it was near the southern terminus of the AT. We not only got to stay again at one of our favorite hostels, but we crossed the trail several times on our drive. We even waited to see if we could pick up any dirty stinky hikers to give trail magic, but no luck. One of our fellow SOBOs that we met up in Maine is still on the trail and we missed him by a day!

We also visited Amicalola Falls State Park in GA. The southern terminus of the AT is 8 miles from Amicalola at Springer Mtn and often thru hikers (especially NOBOs) hike the extra 8.5 miles on the "Approach Trail" to start or finish. Not us boss. We neither had the time or desire to hike an extra 8 miles. But now we can say we did part of the Approach Trail. It was definitely a cool state park and the falls (729 feet) are the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi.






Our next high point--Sassafras Mountain (3,533 feet) in South Carolina--was equally disappointing as GA. It was not because of a closed visitor center, but that SC takes no pride in its high point. We had read that, but thought maybe things have changed. There were nice signs along the roads leading to Sassafras, which is good because it was literally in the middle of nowhere and I read about people getting lost trying to find it. But once you got to the trail and summit, there were zero signs. We even had to poke around up top for awhile before finding the itty bitty survey marker in the ground. On a funny side note, Sassafras used to be at 3,560 feet, but now it sits at 3,533 feet.


Our time in Danville was again too short, but we still got to see a few folks. We stayed with the GAF (Great American Family) as usual, but I forgot to take a photo, so you just need to use your imagination.

We ate at a new restaurant in Danville with Rambo (who has recovered from his time on the trail with us) and his wife, which is usually the case. It's a running joke for us that every time we come to town, there are several restaurant openings and closings to report!


Now we are in Charlottesville for a wedding. I know everyone wants to know what's the plan Stan, but we just go day by day. I will say that we have both had promising interviews last week and have some more next week. But you'll just have to stay tuned for details!

3 comments:

Misti said...

Fun times! I laughed at your little trip to Amicalola Falls...for shame, you could do the 8.5 miles to Springer, stay at the shelter and come back down. ;)

Can't wait to read what's next!

Fred said...

Glad you two are still having FUN!Some Copper River candy will be waiting for you once you get back to Ruthie's! Good luck with job prospects. Is Alaska in the running? Merry Christmas!
Fred

Anonymous said...

Nicki & I are glad we could introduce you to the "new" place in town! Hopefully it'll still be here next time yall stop thru :) Enjoy the next part of your journey...

Van