Rule. Never camp near water, regardless of what Instagram, Boy Scouts or YouTubers suggest.
We spent the night at Blue Mountain Shelter and it was perfect.
Sunrise hiking reel
Yesterday and only twelve miles really beat me up. Today with sixteen and better trail we were waiting for a shuttle at 1:55.
The City of Heflin is really supportive of hikers. Our shuttle was from the City offices. Tammy is kind of the City manager (not what she says, but talking about her with others).
Tomorrow looks like wintery mix and rain in the night so we will hike down the trail and take the spur into town.
We are here to train, not experience pain.
It was a day. So many ankle twisting, knee wrenching rocks. Cheaha. Leaving Next Step Hostel behind (such a great place).
Cold weather front coming in but we are set up out of the wind.
Video of today , wrecked airplane and all
We caught a shuttle and did this section of the Pinhoti north to south.
It was a beautiful day. Cool. Almost but not quite cold. No rain until after we got back to the hostel and then lots of rain tomorrow when we will take our zero.
I take back everything I said about the rocks only being there because of erosion. Some places are just rocky. On or off the trail.
But other parts weren’t rocky and we made great time. Our shuttle was going to pick us up by 4:00. We updated them to expect us at 2:40. We got to the trail head at 1:59.
Pictures and video from the trail today.
Summary video of today
Nice to catch a shower and do laundry after a trip to Burger King.
Not much else to say. Shuttle out, start walking until suddenly we were finished.
We finally passed our first other hikers. Four all told, going the other direction.
Today’s short video from the trail.
We caught a shuttle to town for resupply and the hostel where we can avoid Sunday’s wintery mix and ugly weather and take a break.
And then Porter’s Gap.
The hostel is great. The people are kind.
It is January 19. The rain was fierce last night, making me glad we decided to spend the night at the hostel and order pizza.
Nice steady walk. Still getting into condition. A little better every day.
Sometimes the trail will follow along a ridge, other times it crosses ridges all day. Depends on the section going N/S or E/W.
Makes for constant changes.
We had a road walk from the Dollar General to trail. This is where the trail left the road.
Then there was a lot of trash all over the trail from the logging.
We finished up a 16 mile day at a cell tower where we caught a shuttle back to the Pinhoti Outdoor Center hostel.
Rain is starting up. The weather in Birmingham had tornado warnings, further down the trail there is no weather at all.
So, maybe we will get just heavy mist and .05”. Maybe we will get 5”. Looking out the window I can tell you it looks closer to at least half an inch so far.
But our goal is to experience something new rather than suffer.
Today: tried out my sandals for a water crossing. Walked about twenty feet of 3”-5” water. Went well.
Ordered pizza. That went well.
Gaiters worked well.
Did not adjust/tighten my hip belt enough. Sore shoulders (pack is too comfortable until it finally catches up with you). Means my weight is dropping, which is good.
A good nights rest and I’ll be right as rain and will adjust my pack more tomorrow.
Still carrying four days of food. At least by AT standards. But it is good practice.
It was a good day. We bought enough pizza to share with Tigger & Chuck Norris and our shuttle driver. Will have some for breakfast too.
Took a short nap and will shower next. Staying clean. 😎😎
This is the trail. 3-4 days between resupply.
It was supposed to rain .1” between midnight and 6:00.
It was still raining at 7:00 but it kind of broke around 8:00 and we started off between the pine trees and up the trail.
Day one video.
End of day one, start of day two video
You can tell the difference between sunshine and rain for day one and two portions of the video.
We walked to the gas Station restaurant and had lunch the on to the hostel for showers and laundry.
I had a friend who on the CDT used a rain jacket and shorts. I decided to try that since the forecast we had was just a light drizzle and a lot of dry walking.
Instead it rained all the way to town. The good part was the guy who sent his dogs out to greet us got his dogs back soaked. Couldn’t happen to a better guy.
Most of the dogs were cute and harmless. But not a good look for the trail.
The POC (Pinhoti Outdoor Center) is a nice hostel. We are the only people staying the night.
The owner looked terribly familiar. Turns out she sat next to me at the Ruck. So I wasn’t hallucinating, she was familiar.
Great day two.
We started at the
Old Mountain Campground (short video), turned our car in at the airport, caught the Max to downtown and then to the Greyhound station.
Next was a shuttle and we hoped to get in ten miles with a hostel on the next day.
Weather is warming and is a lot better than the 19 degrees we hit at the ruck.
The shuttle got us to the historic fire tower at the top of a local mountain and forest service signs led us to the trail.
The trail is well marked with aqua blue blazes about every fifty feet. The surface is good, though covered with leaves and pine needles it does not invite turned ankles from roots and rocks.
The Appalachian Trail has a lot of erosion on it. Places where the trail is all large rocks and gaps. People sometimes complain about how if they could just move the trail a few feet it would be dirt instead of rocks.
Of course that would last until trail use eroded the new location. But this trail doesn’t have enough use to erode down which makes it softer and better as a trail.
About six miles in there is about a four mile road walk with a general store about a third of the way.
Road walks are hard on my feet compared to trail. I tend to try and walk on the shoulder. Luckily much of this one is on dirt roads.
Not much at the general store, but it has snacks and soft drinks and good hearted people who make water available to hikers. At about mile ten the trail leaves the dirt road and heads back into the forest.
The trail no longer crosses the meadow talked about in FarOut as a perfect camping spot but we found a good place as the sun was setting.
We had started after lunch and covered over eleven miles before sunset at five o’clock pm. Our stop was a campsite at between 12.1 and 12.2 miles down the trail and we woke to gentle sporadic rainfall the next morning. We waited the rain out until 8:00 when the sun began to come out.
Then we started hiking again.
Day one of the Ruck
Then it snowed. We had the group hike.
Day two, hiking in the snow
After some thought and checking weather we left Laughing Heart where the temp dropped to 19 degrees and headed South.
Our plan is to do the Pinhoti Trail and avoid the snow.