The end and the beginning!
This will be my last blog post before starting the Appalachian Trail. That way I'll still have a day to read and respond to comments :-)
I'm not scared, but I'm going nutz. I thought I was all set but then I unpacked everything and planned more stuff for Steve to send me and organized that and... now my stuff if all over the camper again, with one more day to go.
I went into the Amicalola Falls State Park office today, where the hiker registration book is. There's a hanging spring-scale outside, and when you register, you give your real name, hometown (what'll I put? I don't live anywhere...) and your pack weight. I browsed the last several days of starters, and most packs were 35-45 pounds. Mine is about 30. One guy listed his as 100 pounds. Could that be real? What's he carrying, firewood? Maybe he just wrote something dumb. The guy before him had listed his pack as 10 pounds. That could be possible; 3 days of food, no tent (sleep in shelters), hi-tech lightweight clothing, no stove (eat cold food)... it could be done but I wouldn't try it myself as a relatively new hiker. I want gear!!
Tomorrow I'll go down and register myself. I can't do it before starting on Wednesday, b/c I plan to start about 7a.m. and the office doesn't open till 8:30.
While I was there I saw a young fellow starting up the approach trail. It was 2p.m. The approach trail is steep, rugged, and 8 miles long. He was going to have to book it to get to the first shelter by dark. Or.... he could just find a flat spot and pitch his tent.
I am not doing the approach trail. Steve is going to drive me to a place where a Forest Service road crosses the trail about a mile into it. We're going to walk back to the trailhead together, then turn around and walk the first mile together. I love that. The fact that my husband is so much in favor of my hike and has done so much to help me get ready and support me, is one more sign to me that God likes this idea.
In addition to wanting to walk the first mile with Steve, I don't want to do the approach trail because I think it's an extremely strenuous first day, 8 miles straight uphill carrying a 30-pound pack. Maybe if I hadn't been fighting tendonitis for so long, but as it is, I'm not going to try it. The Lord has helped me heal and given me all kinds of affirmations, so I'm not going to go stupid on Him and tackle that climb my first day. There have been lots of people who've quit their hiking plans partway up that trail. "If it's going to be like this, I can't make it." I want to give my tendons a fighting chance!
You find all kinds of stuff discarded on the approach trail as people toss stuff trying to lighten their packs. (Maybe the 100# guy's firewood or whatever will be there!) One of the things often found on the ground is Bibles. People get inspired and take a whole full-size Bible with them. It's one of the first "unnecessary" things to go.
I tore the Book of Psalms out of a pocket Bible and am taking that. I'm also taking 50 pages at a time of a Dean Koontz book. Steve will bring me the next 50 pages at each of the 3 places he's meeting me, and mail them to me after that. Except.... darn, I've already mailed myself 3 boxes, and guess what I forgot: my book. I'll have to wait till after the Smokey Mountains to find out what happens next, I guess!
Anyway, I'm off. Wednesday. But I'll try to respond to any comments to this post. Our connections is hopelessly slow here, takes minutes to load anything or change screens or send anything. But I'll try.
Wish me luck. Wish me well. Wish me Godspeed.
As I wish it all to all of you. Old friends and new.