Saturday, May 13, 2017

GA Appalachian Trail - Section 16 - Cooper Gap to Woody Gap`

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
4/26/2017 8.6 miles

Map and Guide: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, North Carolina-Georgia

Directions: Start at Cooper Gap, end at Woody Gap

In the morning, we met a bicyclist at the hostel. Bicycling is popular in the mountains here, with the crazy winding roads. We saw him again when we were out eating dinner. We found out that he owns a barge in France and spends the summers going through the canals there. What a weird coincidence - I recently just finished reading a book about someone who bought a barge in France to do the same thing! I love reading about people with less traditional lifestyles.

We also met a woman older than us, who said she tries to reduce her pack weight by 1/2 pound a year. I really like that idea, and want to adopt it. We are still working on creating that "initial" pack weight though, since we are brand new to backpacking. I'm using this website to help keep track of mine: Some gear I've had for a few years, and some we've recently acquired. Our tent so far is under Glen's list (I figure I can carry our food, water filter, and stove). I can see tweaking some of our gear as we gain more skills for overnight trips. For example, our tent is an easy standalone 3 person tent (fits tall Glen + 2 dogs + me). But a 2 person single wall non-standalone tent would weigh half as much! Some of Glen's gear is heavier than mine, so I think he'll have more pack weight to work on losing than me.

Like yesterday, we decided to take a shuttle both to our start point and end point of our hike. We had nice warm weather today, close to 80 degrees! We were super happy that there was no rain. We had some small but steep climbs, otherwise it was a mostly easy day. When we got back to the hostel, there was an ambulance there. We didn't know who was in it but hoped they were okay. We found out later, it wasn't someone who had been staying at the hostel, but someone who came off the trail.
I think this trip is very motivational to Glen. It took me years to persuade him to do some backpacking (we aren't doing any this trip). Most of the people we have been meeting have are backpackers, whether thru hikers or section hikers. Even after our not very successful first overnight trip, I'm ready to do it again! I'm sure it will get easier with more practice.

We loved the container cabin at the hostel. It was so relaxing being surrounded by woods.

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