After a nice breakfast included in our stay in the small countryside of Northern Georgia, we packed up our gear and food to begin heading back to the trail. The weather called for severe storms, but Coffee2go, Kdoe and I did not come here to dwell in town.
My pack was on the heavy side, with a good supply of food. But overall I am using very lightweight gear so a little extra food does not hurt, and will allow me to push a little farther without needing to leave the trail for resupplying.
We got a hitch almost immediately from a very friendly young girl with a strong southern accent, named Tex. It was a pleasure to get a ride from such an interesting character. She was an art student, and the car was filled with nice paintings! She had a knack for painting mushrooms and planets. Unfortunately her school does not consider it to be art, but it all looked nice to me!
Back on the trail, we took some pictures at Dicks Creek Gap, then proceeded to climb.
It was rainy and windy. Honestly, I very much enjoyed trudging through mud and puddles today! It added a sense of ruggedness and adventure that I can never fully saturate.
We felt so energetic and refreshed that we pushed right along the trail. It felt like my first day, full of energy and a smile you couldn't slap off my face.
After a lunch break at one of the shelters, we pushed up and over several good humps. No real large climbs, but several smaller ones in succession.
And then it came...
Standing before me, a crooked tree in the middle of a clearing... I made it to North Carolina! I have officially completed the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail...
I cannot begin to express the excitement. In less than a week, including the Approach Trail, I have made it through the first state.
I have dreamed of this moment. I have seen the pictures of the tree, and read of it in countless books. And here it was.
A tear came to my eye and I leaped in the air, letting out a yelp. Not because I ever questioned my ability. No, it was because I have imagined this moment for the longest time! I still can not believe I am out here, doing this.
After posing for some pictures and laughing it up with new friends, we decided to set up camp there near Bly Gap.
It was such an amazing, epic moment, that it just made sense to stay and take it all in. Besides, the forecast called for storms, and it was clear for the time.
We ate our dinners, and it began to downpour hard. I was very thankful to have my tent set up!
The rain let up close to sunset, and a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky.
Goodbye, Georgia. It was a great journey, and I would love to return someday. But for now, I have a trail to walk.