We just had a great weekend for several reasons. First off, it was the best weather we have had all year – cool, dry air that turned nice and warm with the sun and perfectly clear blue skies. Secondly, my sister Linda was in town from California (where they supposedly have this weather all the time) and we joined our BrewCrew to volunteer at the Kennesaw Beer and Wine Fest (see the update on the “Happenings” page). It was a really great afternoon spent pouring beer for the masses and then enjoying local brews after our shift ended.
Third, and most important, we were joined at night by more family as something of a hostel/trailhead start to our nephew’s AT thru hike. Let me explain a bit more:
Our nephew Adam has been planning his end-to-end hike of the Appalachian Trail for years. With his service in the Army National Guard Infantry Division completed and his college degree behind him, Adam was set for this adventure. He had his gear and his blog (follow him at http://amoodyadventure.blogspot.com/ ) all set. He and his girlfriend Ashley drove up from coastal SC to stay the night before driving to the AT Approach Trail at Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia.
Once word got out that he was going to get started this weekend, his cousin Alex (our son) decided to join him for the first day and night of the hike. How cool. So we also had Alex and Bethany with us Saturday night. Good thing Doug had cooked up some good barbecue the day before – that made it a lot easier to feed the crew when we got home from the beer fest.
We spent the evening around the firepit, making S’mores and talking about the hike, and other adventures. There was a bit of discussion about pack weight and necessary v. unnecessary items. The camp chair was a point of dispute, however Adam declared that it was essential, even if it added weight and bulk. Jackie and I told about our two short hikes in the area: the Len Foote Hike Inn Trail (parallel to the approach trail and documented on the blog “Hike Inn Anniversary”) and the hike up Blood Mountain from Neel’s Gap (Not so Smoky Mountains).
My sister shared that she helps as a trail angel on the lower portion of the Pacific Coast Trail and had just finished up feeding their herd of hikers who were just three days into the South-to-North trek in California. Her husband Norm had walked the three day start from the Mexico border with his niece, so Linda had some fresh tales to tell. And one more mountain trek connection to share is that one of Alex’s best buddies from college has also just started the hike north on the PCT. So the lure of the mountains and the summer hike has called to many in our circle.
Sunday morning the boys and their driver hit the road to Amicalola Falls State Park after a hearty breakfast. Their plan was to hike the approach trail to Springer Mountain and go on to the Springer Mountain camp area. I think they figured that to be about 10-12 miles in. Soon we had a few pictures of the first night’s camp. Alex was going to hike back out the next day and return home to work. Adam is continuing north and should actually hit another spot in North Carolina near his family in about 10 days.
And if all of that isn’t enough, our fall New England motorhome adventure should put us at Acadia National Park in Maine the second week of October, possibly the time when Adam is reaching Mt. Katahdin (northern terminus of the AT) in Maine. So, if timing is right, we might just connect with him at the end of his hike.
Spring is indeed finally here and the summer adventures have begun for our family. We couldn’t be prouder of all of them, and of course wish Adam good weather, good friendships and good times.
Thanks for following along. Our next adventure is just weeks away when we head out to Panama City Beach for paddleboarding, snorkeling and grouper sandwiches! Stay tuned.