Feb. 25, 2017
Well, it was a very cold morning. Packing up was painful on my fingers and my hands spent 3 minutes in my pockets for every 30 seconds out of it. I finally got everything put away around 8 and decided to forego breakfast just so I could get moving and warmed up. Passed a lot of hikers on their way in. Most for day hikes or overnights from what I could tell. Scared some deer which in turn scared some buzzards. Saw some lizards that didn’t want to get their picture taken and a little snake that didn’t mind at all.
I made it to the Visitors Center in just under 4 hours. As soon as I arrived, I called for my ride and immediately bought a Dr. Pepper and Twix, sat down on the comfiest chair I could find, and thought about what changes I was going to need to make for my thru-hike as I waited for my ride. First, I’m going to need a new backpack. I have a medium Gregory Contour 60L bag that I really like but I’ve lost too much weight and need a smaller frame. Also, I want something with more compartments. My food kept sliding around too much and made finding what I wanted rather difficult. My sleeping arrangement is fine but I need to treat my sleeping bag with a down water repellent. Food is another thing I’m going to need to tweak. I wasn’t consuming nearly enough calories and I could tell that I already lost a few pounds. I only had to deal with having to wipe my tent off twice but once it moves into summer I may or may not switch to a hammock. I don’t know. I like the privacy of a tent (though it is just some thin fabric) but hammocks are so comfortable. I’ll think on any other changes I need to make over the next few days. Oh! And here’s a picture of all the food I took with me:
Once I made it home, I began going over the map that I had bought and comparing the elevation chart to ones for the Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately the start of the AT is quite similar to the OHT so I’ll need to do a bit more prepping so next week I will be going back to do the 85 miles from Lake Fort Smith to Ozone Campgrounds near Clarksville. I was pleased to see that my dad has been making use of the dehydrator that I bought right before my hike and my brother in Raleigh, NC has also been doing some dehydrating. I’m lucky to have so many people supporting me on this endeavor, it truly is not lost on me.
Well, this might be my last post until after my next hike since I really don’t have service out there. I really need to change providers too. Verizon is said to cover most of the AT so I’ll look into that. It’s been pretty exciting so far and I hope you guys keep following along with my adventures!