Counting Down

 

The days seem to be whizzing by and my proposed start date is getting ever nearer
I am still aiming for April 10th -/+

I keep looking at my pack, unpacking and packing it. I know so much more now after completing my 2014 hike of the PCT, but I still have reservations.
Most of them are to do with my fitness and weight Oh dear!!

I plan to hike the Approach trail, an 8-mile trail. In the scope of 2,189 miles, 8 miles is a mere drop in the bucket.  Approximately 50% of starting thru-hikers begin their hike at Amicalola Falls State Park and walk the arduous 8-mile approach trail before their official white blaze adventure even begins

I am told that by hiking this trail   you get an accurate picture of what the Appalachian Trail is “you’ll simply be walking through the woods.”
But it’s hard the first mile is an 800-foot elevation increase up 604 stairs.
But I will arrive with a positive attitude and belief that hiking the approach trail will be a benefit to me with a no regrets
For most of us, this adventure is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Take advantage! Embrace it all…the natural beauty, the forest silence, the slow pace of using your legs as your transportation and embrace the parts that suck too.

Remember that all moments are part of the journey. I am not in a race, so I will take my time to get my hiking legs (and fitness) and the time to get to know myself as a hiker

You begin your journey at Amicalola Falls State Park famous archway
This beautiful memorable starting point photo. It also made its way into Bill Bryson’s movie, A Walk in the Woods. Robert Redford posed here!

 

Flights

I am yet to book my flights, which I will do shortly,
Flying into Atlanta  is straight forward, It’s  the flight back from Boston which I’m still pondering
Of course, it’s cheaper to buy a return, but then it’s a guesswork  on how many days will  it take me to  hike  the trail
It is  far  easier to slow down,  than it is to speed  up. And yes, flights can be moved but again that then cost money

I will worry about this later

Transportation

I am independent   and so I like to get my self about   and to the trail, so I thought it would be easy to get from the airport to   the trail
There appear to be two main towns Gainesville and Dahlonega.   Gainesville has public transport but doesn’t appear to have all that I need,
The bigger town of Dahlonega does but does not have public transport which is brilliant.

My initial plan depending on the timing of my flight.

If my flight gets in late, I will  stay over in Atlanta
Get to Dahlonega  next day, Book into  hotel,
Resupply, food  gas, post  items up the trail get phone  sorted   Sleep  zzz
Next day  get  from hotel  to  the trail

Sounds easy doesn’t it, my initial response was put it on Face book.
But all I got was use the shuttle, Use the Shuttle, you should use the shuttle

But on contacting these guys they are not cheap   well not to me   They charge varying prices around the $150. Obviously if you split one that would be a better option.
There must be a better way but sometimes it’s better to just pay up and be done.

But not me, so after more googling I find that there is the MARTA which is a local rail system, I can take this to   North Springs. Hopefully I can get a ride or hitch to Dahlonega   from there .
Then someone recommends Uber  so that’s is interesting … well its certainly cheaper .
I may wait till I am on the train and then see what happens,

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