Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Appalachian Tale: Part 2

6 May 2010

Yin:  What can I say?  Today was very rough and painful!  Let me start at the beginning though.  This morning it became obvious that over the next month I wouldn't get much peaceful sleep.  Every hour or so I would have to re-position myself to keep my limbs from falling asleep due to the lack of blood flow.  After a quick breakfast consisting of GORP we were on our way.  We were immediately introduced to a mountain of stairs leading to a beautiful waterfall cascading over at least 10 stories of sharp, ragged rocks.  There were approximately 600 steps in total... yes, There were signs saying how many there were, and I counted them.  Yang didn't share my optimism as far as I could tell.  After the stairs, we had an entire day (7-8 miles as the crow flies) of inclined mountain to traverse.  I didn't prepare for this and it was a long day for me.  Yang thoughtfully led me up the mountain and never complained about how many breaks I took.  Today's climb is called Springer Mountain and we stayed in the shelter on top.  Very sore.  After a satisfying lunch a few more people showed up.  There are two women by the names of  "Auz" and Megan, and they have a guard dog named Adalay.  Adalay carried all their water and it reminded me of cat companion "Doc" had mentioned before.  We also met a guy from Germany who must have been well off because he says he leaves Germany many times a year to hike the many trails of the world.  He was very cool and Yang and I got along with him very well.  We also made a fire tonight and played harmonica to entertain our "guests" (because we got to the shelter first).

Yang:  Today was not an easy day!  This morning "Doc" told us about an amazing breakfast at the Amicalola Lodge.  We went on a several mile "goose chase" looking for the lodge only to give up and start hiking the trail with an open bag of GORP.  The first part of the trail was absolutely beautiful yet absolutely horrible.  The beautiful part was the 6-700 ft. waterfall.  The horrible part was the staircase that went the same distance nearly straight up.  Good Times.  When we finally made it to the top, who else would be waiting for us but "Doc"!?!  After a short chat with him, we started up the mountain.  Approximately 6-7 hours later we arrived at the Springer Mountain shelter and were officially on the Appalachian Trail.  At the shelter we met a really neat guy from Germany as well as two girls from Georgia.  There was fire and good conversation most of the evening.  We even shared our Makers Mark with everyone.  Now time for rest.  If today was any indication of how the trail will be, we'll need all the rest we can get.

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