A Day Hike on the Appalachian Trail

Ever since reading the book, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, I have been really interested in the Appalachian Trail.  The book is about the trail, as well as Bill’s attempt to hike the whole trail.  Since the trail goes through 14 Eastern States and is 2200 hundred miles long, hiking it is a big deal.  It begins in Georgia, and ends in Maine.   Many people thru-hike the entire trail, and while I haven’t felt moved to do that, I’ve wanted to hike at least part of it.

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

We live in North Georgia, so it seems like finding and hiking the Appalachian Trail would be easy.  But on  several tries to find the trail, we’ve been side-tracked by other North Georgia trails, and not actually made it to the A.T.

I keep trying to get us to Springer Mountain, which is the beginning (or end) of the entire trail.  By the time you get in the vicinity cell service is no longer available, so GPS on the phone doesn’t work. Maybe a map next time!  On our most recent try, we went in the wrong direction of Springer Mountain.  But actually did find and hike a section called Woody Gap.

Woody Gap Appalachian Trail Georgia

Woody Gap
Appalachian Trail
Georgia

The trail was very nice, the day overcast, and even a bit chilly (low 60’s).  We hiked it at the end of May, so the Mountain Laurel was in full bloom.  We saw several varieties, including an orange one (but maybe the orange one wasn’t Mountain Laurel?)

Mountain Laurel Blooming on the Appalachian Trail

Mountain Laurel Blooming on the Appalachian Trail

The trail itself was a bit hilly, but not too difficult. It was pretty technical though, with lots of roots and  rocks sticking up from the trail.  You really had to watch where you placed your foot, or you’d stumble, which I did several times!

Roots and rocks on a portion of the Appalachian Trail

Roots and rocks on a portion of the Appalachian Trail

We hiked for almost 2 hours, and were disappointed to learn that we’d only gone 2.5 miles!

A funny incident when we returned to the parking area: we encountered a group of paunchy folks taking off their helmets.  I overheard one man asking his female companion “Well now you’ve ridden the dragon…how do you feel?”

I have heard the dragon expression before, and know that it refers to trying heroin…not riding a motorized three wheeler!

 

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