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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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I joined this forum one month ago today and finished my first section hike last sunday. 8/28

This is how the hike went.

day 1: Thursday 8/25 : Ron brown dropped us off @ AFSP after giving us the run down on the water situation on the approach trail and giving my gf and I a spare water bottle and bladder that had been left on the trail. Thanks Ron!

We started at the bottom of the falls. Kelli, my girlfriends pack weighed in at 19.5lbs w/o water and mine at 33.5lbs w out water.

we filled up at the bottom of the stairs w 3 liters each , huge mistake as there was water to be had at the top of the stairs.
It was a terrible beginning to our journey...after driving 7 hours from florida. Kelli was crying that she couldn't do it before we left the parking lot. I took her bag off her back and began making the flights of stairs. WOW.. that was heavy... (carrying her bag in my arms )

I continued to carry both of our packs until reaching the hike inn as it was getting dark. we heard another couple was camping another mile down the trail. it was dark , I advised kelli this is something I am not familiar with and it is going to feel uncomfortable. luckily we had guthooks app and after shortly passing the tent site we turned around back tracked 200 yards and found their tent.... we could now set up camp in the dark with the assurance there were other's near by ( first time on the trail ) . Cooked up some ramen on the fancy feast alcohol stove , everything's ok... Zoey ( Siberian husky 6 months ) did not sleep and I was constantly keeping her from puncturing and tearing our new gear... slept maybe an hour

day 2: we used the rest of the water on a bowl of oatmeal. I had arranged to meet a fellow hiker at the parking lot past springer. so we had a few miles to hike and didn't have any water.
on my way up springer a hiker was hiking sobo advised me of a dehydrated hiker in rough shape shortly after the summit he was getting help for him, I told him we'll look out for him and help if we can, and that we also had no water .... we made it to our metting and I was extrermly relieved. I knew once kelli was hiking with a third party I would have a break ....
+ I rearranged our packs so that kelli could now bare the weight. still didn't have water until stover creek.
we got water...
Everything went smooth and nice having our buddy dave with us..... three forks was beautiful... a ranger was there. he told me the hiker was extracted but they were going back in for his gear...

Long creek falls was beautiful.

We proceeded to camp at hawk mountain shelter. we arrived early and had many hours of sunlight. this was great for us to re calibrate our senses. I told kelli if we need to, we can hike back witrh dave and end the hike early. luckily after this easier day with dave I was able to encourage her on ward as planned.
I actually slept ! my dog slept ! kelli slept !

day 3:
Woke up to plenty of water coffee and oatmeal over a picnic bench. we loaded up with water and expected to not see much until gooches mtn/gap shelter. It was Saturday so we started seeing more folks on the trail. we met a girl who finished the north half of the at and was starting her southern section ( she passed us on her first day , starting at springer ). also met a group of 5 guys my age and there dad , and one of them works within a mile of my home in Jacksonville. we made it to gooches shelter and got water from the pipe. It took longer then expected to get to gooches . we arrived at gooches and I knew we had to go further if there was a chance of me making it to my car at neels gap the following day. so we hiked on towards woodys gap. The experienced quick girl hiker stay at gooches after hearing about the afternoon thunderstorms in the south. This was a beautiful section to hike along this ridgeline. we then arrived at woodys.. running out of water again after making dinner and having the last bit to drink. we also hiked w a guy named kurt also from Jacksonville , he hammock camped near us this night.

day 4: I slept the entire night.. zoey slept outside of the tent half the night then I lured her in the tent for the rest of the night.

I reluctantly decided I wasn't going to be able to leave kelli at woodys with my gear , run to neels gap and drive back to get her... it was just too much.

There was a couple who drove up to woodys gap to watch the sunrise... I politely solicited them for a ride and kind of walked away as it didn't seem like they wanted to... they drove off.... and returned 5 minutes later and offered us a ride to pick up our car at neel's gap. WE MADE IT !!

10 miles short of the planned 40 miles...

we did the hike inn trail Thursday night and finished at woodys gap Saturday night ( ~30 miles)

I cannot wait to go back and finish the rest of GA . overall kelli had no idea what she was getting herself into , and crushed her own expectations after a rough first night... She was truly tough and enduring.

very proud of my dog for carrying her pack most of the way, having freakish endurance for a pup her age, and sleeping in the tent without ripping into it.
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