Well, my people. I will tell you- having traversed the fine Pinhoti trail and the southern portion of the Benton Mackaye- the Appalachian trail is different. For one thing, I have seen less bears. Granted, I’ve only been on here three days. It took a week and a bit for John and me to see five bears once we entered the blue ridge mountains… So I’ll wait, and update you on any bread sightings. It will be glorious.
Also, we have finally bid adieu to the smallest broski, who went on to enjoy a few well-deserved weeks of freedom after hiking 400ish miles in a row, on his first backpacking trip ever. Huzzah! Not bad for a smallest brother. (Or anyone, in fact. Also John I don’t miss you at all not even when I drop my hiking pole and stand there crying waiting for someone to pick it up for me in ninja fashion. Just so we are clear on that.)
I skipped the approach trail on my way back up (been there, done that), but made it back to the top of Springer to sign the register. Alas. It is true. I am a box-checker. I then hiked 8 miles to a shelter, where I found a Jon (like John, smallest brother, but easier to write and with more tattoos) who taught me some things about edible plants along the trail. Probably now if I manage to get lost with my GPS watch and my guide and those bright, bright blazes, I will not die. This is reassuring for some of you I am sure. Then I hiked some more, and filtered water at a stream, and looked up and began conversating with another hiker who had tromped up, and we realized we both science (ok, so she works for NASA researching microbiology in extreme environments, which is ridiculously legit, and had taken a few days off to hike), and then we swiftly realized our parents had given us the same name, and it all went downhill from there. And uphill, which was harder, but really compared to some parts of the Pinhoti, the AT so far has been easy cheese. I just made up that expression. Anyways, our foods compliment each other, so we have split our dinners the last couple of nights, and I would not do that with just anyone I tell you. Or most anyone, really. I am quite food protective. She is quite nice, and our conversations are not nerdy at all, but she’ll be headed out this Sunday. Also- she’s from a tiny country in Europe. You probably haven’t heard of it… unless you’ve been researching the International Appalachian Trail, and plan to hike there, and then you know exactly where the Faroe Islands are located. Imagine the odds- meeting one of their 50,000 citizens while hiking in Georgia in the late summer off season of the AT. (I’ve met five people on the AT going north, including her.)
Hiking the AT this late in the year also means trail conditions have been lovely. No overcrowding, and pleasantly cool nights. I sleep in my fleece blanket and am warm.
Anyways, thanks for the care and the messages. I shall offski to sleep, but someday soon if I love you enough I will write up more things, like an equipment list for those of you who are interested (Vargo Titanium has wonderful equipments and wonderful people, I cannot mention things without that shout-out!), and stories about ant superhighways and insect warfare for those of you who are less into hiking and more into world domination.
P.s. Also… I don’t have the Facebook messaging app on my phone, because it is foolish, so if you want my email you should totes contact me via this blog and I will get back to you with that shtuff relatively fast, for hiking. Take care of yourselves, my people.