We did our first 13km (Up Up Up) in the last 3 hours of day light. We were planning to get to a camp site just before the official start of the trail (mile 0 at Springer Mountain) approaching from Amicalola Falls, but had a very late start – 16h45! – the result of a delayed shuttle pick-up, and a mandatory briefing at start (including tips on how to store food safely away from bears: hope Mom and Kelsey not reading this 😀).
We havn’t been walking for long before the sky started turning darker and the weather began to threaten, and just as it was getting properly dark and the first drops started falling, we got to the Hikers Inn. It is an eco inn for hikers (not thru hikers, families who want to stay ‘in the mountain’ and do some walks). It is hugely expensive for a basic room with bunk beds, including dinner and breakfast. I was not going to get wet and struggle to find a place to camp in the dark when we were AT virgins so I just said ‘I am staying here for the night’. Luckily they had one room with 2 beds left, we paid a fortune for it and went to bed hungry as dinner has already been served, but I was happy with our call – you cant start the AT almost 17h00 on your first day!
Our bags (which we weighed at the start) are a bit heavier than we hoped for (44 pounds and 40 pounds respectively) but there is an opportunity in 3 days’ time to dump what by then seems non-essential. For now they are packed and shyly carrying the red (intended) Thru Hiker tags.
It is currently light between 6h30 and 19h30 so that will dictate walking hours. It is now 6h00 and still raining.