This adventure will literately take me to Hell and back again. Hells Canyon that is. The deepest canyon in the lower 48. Just like all journeys this one has to start somewhere. Many will say that every journey starts with the first step. I disagree every journey starts with packing. Then unpacking, repacking, then unpacking, looking over checklists and then the final gear pack up. For me this almost OCD process begins many months before a big adventure. I painstakingly and meticulously choose what gear will be taken and what stays behind. I make note of what each piece of gear weighs. I find comfort in knowing everything that I will have with me. For me knowing all of this is my security blanket while out on the trail. Many adventures are just throw stuff in a bag and go however with this one I want to go as light a possible but at the same time still be able to accomidate two completely different adventures. Thankfully I will have plenty of room in the Jeep to haul all of my gear. Many of the other #HellHikeAndRaft crew have chosen to fly. This makes cramming all the gear into bag acceptable for flying a tad bit tricky. I am glad that I have chosen to drive.
I am finally in Georgia. Sitting here in Dahlonega enjoying a nice sunny day. Today is our rest day. The plan is to go through my gear one last time and get some last min items. How we got to Georgia was a good trip with some unexpected turns. Here is what happened.
My friend Chris and I left Kansas City around 9 am on Thursday morning. We drove all day and stopped in Memphis Tennessee. It was about an 8 hour drive. We decided to break p the trip and not drive the entire 14 hours all in one day. I think we are both very glad we did. We Got to Memphis around 7, checked into the hotel, and then head out to grab some dinner. The shuttle driver suggested a place called Cozy’s the place was fantastic. The food was excellent and to be honest the BBQ was better than of most places in Kansas City. We even got to talk with the owner for awhile and she told us that even her great grand kids where working there. It has been open for 35 years and it is a Must try if you are ever in or near down town Memphis.
We got up on Friday morning and headed out to St Jude Children’s Hospital. It was an interesting experience. I had gone there as a child for my cancer treatments and the place has change to where I could hardly recognize it. A few of the buildings were the same, but the complex as at least three times larger than when I was there as a kid. It was great to see its growth knowing the amount of good they do in the world and have over the 20 years since my treatments.
Our next stop was to see the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel. A beautiful hotel in downtown Memphis where every morning they bring the ducks down an elevator and they parade them to a fountain in the main lobby. Every night they take them back upstairs to their little ducky living quarters.
Blues and Friend Catfish were calling so we headed down to Beale Street to get some great grub at BB Kings restaurant. It never lets ya down. An awesome atmosphere and even better food.
We finished up lunch and then headed back to get our car at the hotel. We set a course for Graceland to drive past to say that we saw it. On the way there we had a tire blow out on the off ramp to get to Graceland. So we spent the next few hours dealing with that. We finally left Memphis around five and began our drive to Dahlonega. It was a long drive through the Tennessee mountains in the dark. We arrived at 2:30 local time and pretty much crashed.
Only 16 days until the trail and there is so much to do and very little time left. I have spent most of the past few weeks snowed in. We have had more snow in the past 2 weeks than we have had in several years. Granted 16 inches isn’t a massive amount compared to some places in the continental United States. I have been having a constant battle with the city and they seem to be winning. Their trucks can plow more snow than I can shovel out of my driveway.
On Monday I was let go from work. I will not get into the details but needless to say it actually comes as a blessing. I had been planning on leaving anyway so in the end all things worked out in my favor. My stress level has gone down incredibly on the work side but is starting to increase as I get closer and closer to the trail. Packing of the pack, and continuous packing of resupply boxes and it just seems like nothing is getting done.
In other news today I booked my hotel room in Dahlonega Georgia. Dahlonega sits at the base of Springer Mountain the official Start of the AT.
More to come and maybe from GA?
In this video I go over my Shelter and my sleeping kit. What all are you using?
Hey everyone I wanted to share with you an article I wrote for CampingRoadTrip.com’s November Newsletter. The article is titled Preparing to Hike the Appalachian Trail and can be read in full here. Please enjoy.
Don’t forget that t-shirts are still available and my inventory is shrinking so get yours today!