Help! Seriously, this is cry for assistance. I need tips, hints, tricks, etc. on how not to murder everyone in my family (including the dog) as I prepare for vacation. Today is my last day off before we head out for our first official vacation/backpacking trip.
I, personally at 40 something have NEVER been on an official vacation as an adult. I am what you call a serial planner. I have planned many vacations to different places, never satisfied with a short jaunt to a local area or a quick flight to some easily accessible city. I always plan elaborate car trips with miles of driving or some equally impossible itinerary. Not that they aren’t achievable for someone, just that in my world they aren’t achievable due to time constraints or finances. You can see my tendency for this in our families goal to thru-hike the AT.
Now, because we need to work up to this lofty AT thru-hike goal, we have planned our very first multi-day backpacking trip…at least four times! Because I can never make things super easy our first plan was to visit Cloudland Canyon (https://gastateparks.org/CloudlandCanyon) AND FDR State Park (https://gastateparks.org/FDRoosevelt). After researching what we actually wanted to do at Cloudland we decided that the back-country campsites were too far apart for the four year old to comfortably hike in one day. (We know he can do about 3 miles, maybe 4 if we take a long break) so we moved onto…
Plan #2. This plan seemed great we would go hike for a bit at FDR park, and then we would do the hike at Panther Creek Falls. (https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/panther-creek-falls/) This seemed like a fantastic idea, we would still get to see some beautiful scenery but the hikes were more achievable by everyone involved. Enter YouTube videos…we watched several videos on Panther Creek Falls and although the falls are spectacular, the environment on the YouTube videos made me a little leery. It is only about 3 miles from the road, there was graffiti, and it is not a monitored area (park service, etc) which is probably absolutely fine but it made me a little nervous not knowing the area. And then we were onto…
Plan#3. In this plan we decided we would hike the Dockery Lake Trail to the AT and then hike southbound on the AT to Preacher’s Rock. (https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/dockery-lake-trail/) I was very excited about this plan. Then, if we had time we would drive to Woody Gap down the road and hike to the Gooch Mountain Shelter and back. Ambitious with a 4 year old, but I felt it was easily doable. After all, the second part was only if the first part went well. We were about two weeks out from the start of the vacation and enter YouTube videos…(Are you seeing a pattern?) The most recent videos of the Dockery Lake Trail were less than impressive and well we want impressive. So then came…
Plan #4. Yes, a week and a half out from leaving on vacation we have not finalized our plans, I mean we have four times, but well clearly we haven’t! So, we just decided screw it, we will go to Amicalola State Park and hike the approach trail to the AT. (https://www.amicalolafallslodge.com/) Now, we both know that this trail involves a ton of stairs and it presents it’s own challenges but I refuse to cancel this trip. So we are going.
The above is just to give you an idea of my mental state going into this weekend, which is my last days off to prepare for this trip and get all the last minute stuff done. Now I’m just going to rattle off a list of things that made me want to harm/maim/kill my husband.
- We argued about whether or not he would need to carry vitamins for a week long hike. (It’s a no from me, we eat like shit everyday and no one takes vitamins!)
- We argued over the best way to carry toilet paper.
- We argued over whether or not I should buy the rain jacket at Old Navy.
- We disagreed over the best way to lay out the food in order to pack it.
- We argued over the correct way to package said food in order to carry it.
- I fumed because he was right and I had to re-do all the food packing I had already done.
- We argued over if we needed to buy a sewing kit for a week long hike (My vote was no, it’s only a week and I’m not going to sew anything anyway!)
- We argued because he made me hand write a list of things we needed vs putting it on my phone and we left the list at home.
- We argued because we forgot the gallon sized baggies that were on the list we didn’t bring.
Then there is today, the last day to prepare. We have had about 4 hours sleep the last two nights, I’m tired, cranky and I have to work tomorrow. He wants to drive 2 hours to REI and exchange a few things and I have no desire to go anywhere or do anything. There is an REI in Atlanta on the way to Amicalola Falls, so I suggest we just stop on the way. He agrees but I can tell he is not happy about it. So we settle down on the couch and start watching YouTube videos…