Nature’s Boot Camp

GA A.T 054GA A.T 044

March 25 2015

The day started out foggy and grew bright. We had our first big climb and started meeting a lot of new people. We were in the March 23rd bubble of hikers.

I am fairly sure that I met Odie from the Hiker’s Yearbook at some trail magic today! I saw him at different points all along the trail. My mom was feeling poorly about social interaction on the trail. She is mostly deaf and found it very difficult to interact with hikers in the beginning because they thought she was unfriendly. Odie’s first response was to sign to her. It made our day.

As we walked along, we could hear the loud booms of practice shelling and shooting from a nearby army base. We took a break at a gap and met some hikers who would become As I go, Ropeburn and the Choir Boys. They were silly and fun to talk to. I went over to some army trainees that were parked on the road and asked if they had any snacks. We chatted for awhile and they expressed a strange sentiment to me: that hiking the Appalachian Trail was such a difficult undertaking they would never have any desire to do. I had previously thought of it as nature’s boot camp, so I was baffled and a little amused.

My mom and I had a dilemma about where to camp this day. We could stay just before Blood Mountain but not on top without a bear canister. To the surprise of our hiking bubble we decided to push on and stay on the ridge .  I took my mom’s food bag to lighten her load over the next few rolling climbs. We camped with Fancy Pants and Fuego this night. Fuego made a roaring fire and kept it going late into the night.

I got my bear rope stuck in a tree. Fuego tried to help me get it unstuck with a tree branch and we got the tree branch stuck in the rope. Then we used a second stick to remove the first stick and got that tied in there too. It looked like a strange piece of suspended art when finally we gave it a good yank and everything came crashing down.





  1. Excellent early memories before spring had sprung in Georgia. What an amazing time to start the trail, everything was just waiting to happen. It was a joy meeting you and I hope our paths cross again, CP.
    – Giggly Goose, a Choirboy


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