We all hear the stories of obstacles that will be encountered as you hike the AT. Who would have thought that the first obstacle encountered would happen before we even set out to hike!
Due to freak storms that have rolled in throughout TN, NC, and GA, there is unheard of amounts of snow on the ground. Oh my God! There’s about 4 inches of snow on the ground! It’s snowmageddon!
Now to us who live on the Northeastern part of the country think nothing of those amounts of snow. Granted, the amounts may be higher in the mountainous elevations, however I’ve seen pics from some already on the trail and the ’12 inches’ of snow is a bit exaggerated. Maybe they use the metric system down here and lose something in the conversion?
Ok. Enough of me being facetious. It hardly ever snows down here so it’s a serious situation for these folks. With that being said, we cannot get a ride to our original start at Springer Mountain. We now have to hike the approach trail from Amicalola Falls State Park, an additional 8.8 miles, 2000 feet elevation change, and add another day to our trek. I don’t fault anyone for not wanting to venture out with snow on the roads, I completely understand, especially if there’s ice involved. That is hazardous for anyone, regardless of expertise driving through winter weather.
In the grand scheme of things, this additional distance is negligible. However, Joe is now in a state of panic in light of the news. To me, it doesn’t matter either way. I can now quiet the folks who insist that you are skipping part of the thru-hike if you don’t do the approach trail.
This is just one of many gotchas that await me, I’m sure.
PS – Joe thinks that the first obstacle was the worms he’ll probably have from being served a raw piece of steak at the Cracker Barrel last night.
Ken GladeMarch 1, 2015
Best of luck to you on your journey.