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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More of the Story

I'm writing about the hike as much to put the memories down for myself as anything. So, it may be piecemeal.

Once I got to the park I checked in. I put the appropriate paperwork in view on the dash of the truck to allow it to be parked there overnight, then I grabbed my pack and hiking poles out of the back. I locked everything up, and looked back to check on it as I walked across the parking lot. It occurs to me now to wonder what the time limit on parking there free is. There was a vehicle next to mine that had a tarp over it half blown off. Wonder how long it had been there. Anyway, it was drippy and foggy all day. I stopped off at the bathrooms on the way back past the visitor's center, then walked through the archway. I wanted to make some landmark moment type of thing, but came up blank. So, I headed up. My new way of taking just baby steps, but not stopping, works well on the uphills. Part way up that first mile a couple of young guys caught up with me and stopped to rest with me. They were from the Keys in Florida, and were starting a thru hike. When I got to the parking lot at the top of Amicalola Falls they were still there. We talked some more as we got more water and hit the restrooms there. We then took each others' picture at the sign for the approach trail, and they headed off with 'see you on top'.

I got a picture of some of the signs on the trail there to show how foggy it was. The picture captured it well. I went up, and up. At one point after I got to where there are fire ring campsites I stopped to rest and water the leaves. I didn't get very far off the trail since I hadn't seen anyone in awhile. Well, of course here came some people just as I was finishing. If I hadn't had on a dark pink shirt I would have just stayed still, but I hurriedly stood up and got put back together, and said hi to them as I walked back to my pack. They stopped long enough to put pack covers on, I guess seeing mine triggered the idea. By that point it was obvious that it wasn't going to clear up any.

When I got to where Stumpknocker and I had stopped last time, these same folks had stopped for a break. I said something about being about half way. The obviously more exerienced guy kinda stopped and looked at me, but all he said was 'well, when you cross the other hiking trail you know you are making good time'. Hmmmmm.

More later....

Monday, May 21, 2007

Progress Happens

I actually worked on remodeling the house this weekend. Finally. I got the two holes in the walls of the mater bedroom/master bath cut so that I can install drywall. I added a brace on one side to attach the drywall to. A friend had told me to cut the drywall along the edge of the stud, not try to find the middle, and then put a 1X2 brace next to the stud to screw the drywall into. That is what I did on the side where the drywall spanned the stud. On the bedroom side the piece of drywall that was busted was only 16" wide, so I too the entire width of it out exposing the studs on both sides. Then, even though I measured it, it ended up I got the wrong drywall thickness. I got 1/2" instead of 3/8". At Home Depot they had 2' X 2' squares of the drywall which was much easier to work with. So, cutting on the smaller pieces was a confidence builder and not just wasted effort. I'm pretty sure I'll end up having to get the full 4' X 8' sheet of the 3/8" stuff. I have already figured out how I'll cut the 2 pieces I need. Just need to get back to a store to get it.

A lot happened lately, but I didn't have the energy to write about it. A couple of weeks ago it became obvious that it was time to let the dog go. She got injured, and I don't know if it as one of the loose dogs or whether the wooden platform she liked to crawl under fell on her. I had to lift it off of her at one point, but that may have been because she was so weak at that point. In the day I was gone to work she went downhill very fast. I had already decided that it was time to have her put to sleep, and by the next morning when I took her it was truly time. I could have taken her to a vet and gotten her medicine, but I still had no way to protect her from the other dogs. At her age, it was for the best, I keep telling myself. So, I have an igloo dog house, a 40lb bag of Science Diet food, and various leashes and tie out cables to find something to do with. I will at some point go on free cycle and advertise for a rescue place to come get them.

The next day was a huge sale at REI. I was leaving for my second attempt at the approach trail that evening, and needed a pack cover since it was rainy. Well, I spent a lot of money, but I really did only get things I had planned to get at some point. I got a new summer down bag, a headlamp that is small like Stumpknockers, a coffee filter like his (it packs much smaller than anything I had), hiking socks, a spork, and, oh yeah, a pack cover. I used everything on the hike and it all pretty much performed well.

After work I headed to N. GA to the Hiker Hostel (hikerhostel.com). Following my GPS, I questioned it a few times and ended up taking the long way when it tried to give me a shortcut. Oh, well. I got in about midnight, and Leigh was waiting up for me. I had the bunk room to myself as there was only one other person staying there and she had one of the private rooms. I was happy to find I could carry everything I had brought with me in one trip, especially since I hadn't had time to organize or pack but just threw anything I thought I might need into the truck.

Next morning I heard Leigh in the kitchen. She had the coffee on, so I went back to the room and got dressed and started laying out my stuff. I heard the other woman come down, so I grabbed my coffee mug and went out to be sociable. Josh came in from work, Leigh had made a nice breakfast, so we all sat down and talked and ate for awhile. It was nice, and the room and breakfast only cost $15 for the night. After breakfast I went back to the room and sorted gear and packed the pack. The new sleeping bag made the new pack work fine for everything I needed. For winter when I'll want my larger down bag I'll need a larger pack, but the 45 liter one is fine for now.

I was on the trail by 9:30, after getting lost driving to Amicalola State Park. Well, not lost, I just thought I must have driven past it. The GPS came to my rescue again, telling me it was still 5 miles down the road.

Time to get ready for work, so I'll write more about the hike later...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Long Time No Post

I've been in hermit mode. Change has been happening, but nothing that I was ready to talk about. Not that it's any huge deal, just processing as I go along and staying to myself as much as possible. Hopefully after this weekend I'll have some concrete progress to report. That is some of my motivation to actually do the things that I have on my to do list.