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!
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
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,