Hiawassee is full of hikers! We’re standing around in twos and threes and fours, in parking lots and in the diner and the giant grocery store. Even now, a week or so in, we have almost a uniform: fleece, puffy jackets, red faces, a sort of happy scruffiness. We wave to one another and call out names. ‘How’s your hike going? What about that storm? Hey, is that knee better?’
I saw Jon from Germany in the market. I told him his trail name ought to be Yonder. 🙂 A play on his name (pronounced Yon), and a comment on the fact that he’s covering distance. Don’t know if it’ll stick! I also saw Rob from the HH.
All those guys are 2 days ahead of me. You can get to Hiawassee from Unicoi Gap or Dick’s Creek. Most people go to Helen from Unicoi, but I’m so glad I did it this way. I heard Helen is a bit of a tourist trap.
People have injuries! Rob’s feet are cut up and chewed up. Jon’s having knee issues. I’m happy to report that I’m injury free. I’ve been doing 8 to 12 miles per day. Slow, but it’s keeping me healthy. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.
So. Week 1 postmortem. The stupidest ultralight tip I followed was to take my dental floss out of the little box. That just turned into a sticky, trashy nightmare. Best gear decision: Puffy pants! I lost my backup Aqua Mira. Duct tape doesn’t really stick to anything. Tissues of some sort are a necessity for me; with the wind and the cold and the effort, snot just pours. This is a filthy adventure wherein you immediately become intimately acquainted with all sorts of unspeakable fluids and grime, and the best way to ease the transition is to surrender to it as quickly as possible.
Adapt, adapt, adapt. 🙂
I’m here through the rest of today, then catching a 9 AM Shuttle back to Unicoi and those two mountains. My next respply should be in Franklin, North Carolina. I might not post updates until then. Or might. Who knows? This whole journey is minute to minute.
I’m carrying a pebble from Springer to… well. To Maine, I hope! But for today, just to Hiawassee.