Our final original plan was to hike the Approach Trail to the AT from Amicalola State Park after we camped two days in park. However, we decided that it was in Monkey’s best interest that we not continue with our planned hike. Watching the weather there was a 50% chance of evening thunderstorms in the middle of our hike and we had learned the first two nights that the clothing we had was not enough to hold up to cold and wet. We didn’t want to take the chance.

We did hike the East Ridge Trail which was stunningly beautiful and equally difficult. Although, we didn’t complete our plan, this trip was definitely not a failure and we learned a lot of valuable information.

  • Moisture wicking clothes bought in Florida do not hold up to the cold of the mountains even if you layer.
  • Hiking in the mountains is much harder than hiking the flat land of Florida. Yes, I know this is self explanatory and I knew this…I just didn’t realize the degree of difficulty.
  • Campsites which have their prepared sites made out of gravel are of the devil!
  • The work we put into preparing our dehydrated meals was worth it.
  • The packaging of the dehydrated meals is to ridgid and bulky. It needs to be reassessed.
  • We need different sleeping pads. Jason was unable to walk on morning #1. Morning #2 was better though.
  • Top of the Falls concessions only takes cash. If you hike the trail to the top and are hoping for an ice cold soda, you better bring cash. I left without my reward!
  • The BRS 3000 is a tiny stove with great reviews, but it doesn’t work as well as the MSR in the wind and uses more fuel. It took me a full six minutes to get my water to boil. My husband was already half way into his post cook soak time.
  • Caffeine withdrawl in the middle of the woods is awful and rendered me useless for half a day. I need to make sure I detox before going hiking or bring replacements with me.
  • Apparently a little known law of bladder function: The greater the cold and the distance to the bathroom the more frequently you will need to pee in the middle of the night.
  • Mountain driving is beautiful, unless your husband thinks he is Mario Andretti trying to win the Indy 500.
  • Even if you think your shoes are big enough, according to my big toe…this is a lie.
  • Even thin people huff and puff as they are hiking to the top of a mountain. EXCEPTION: The couple that passed us going down while running and holding a full blown conversation. They also passed us going back up (we were still on the way up) and they were still in full blown conversation. I think they might have been cybernetic prototypes.
  • And last but not least according to my husband if you fart in the mountains it amplifies and echoes throughout the area, alerting everyone and causing an immediate searching out of the culprit. Luckily, I was still sleeping!

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