Day 8: Zero in Hiawassee

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.



Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 8: Zero in Hiawassee

  1. Happy Hiking!

    I’ve decided the title of your memoir for this trip should be Carrying a Pebble to Maine.

    • That would be the best ending! 😀

      • What I’m loving about your experience is that you’re taking me along for the ride (and all the other people on this blog). Blogging the trail is a fantastic bridge between isolation, the immediate hiking community, and the internet fringe elements. It’s a great experience…even for those of us who are couch surfing our way to Maine with you.

        If I could flip to the last page, I am certain I would see a line about your placing the pebble at the end of the trail. Be sure to take a picture. That’s the cover shot. LOL. 🙂

      • I hope that’s the cover shot! Because some of these others are less flattering. 😀

        I love having you here, Erin!

  2. I wish there were a revision button for these here comments… 🙂 … I mean to add “You will be assimilated!” in response to your “Adapt, adapt, adapt” comment. It’s not nearly as funny after the fact, is it?

  3. Sharon

    So relieved you took a day off! Got your texts–Call if you need a voice!!

  4. Resistance is futile. That said you are pretty damn wonderful to share this experience with all of us out here virtually hiking with you. I see a Wi AT game in the future. MInus the weather of course.

  5. 1.) Trail name = Pebbles
    2.) Ultra lights hikers suggesting saving the weight of a floss container?…come on!
    3.) Hike your own hike.

  6. I am enjoying hiking vicariously with you! Keep it up girl! 50+ rocks!!

  7. janetg96

    Your blog posts are awesome. Your writing spirit is truely coming through with every post!

  8. Ryan

    So much fun to see what you’re up to. This is Ryan, the lawyer you had dinner with on the train. Fantastic updates; I’m thrilled to watch your progress and cheer you on. Good luck, stay warm, and hope to hear all your AT stories in person one day!!

    • Ryan, hi! I hope your adventure in bakery land was a success! I haven’t seen big Ed on the trail since day 1, but I heard he saw a bear! Not me; no bears. Yet.

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