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.
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