Here we go.
Day 1. Woke up too early at the Hobbit Hole--a single family home/simulated English village complete with thatched cottages where toolsheds, barns or other outbuildings would be. The lovely folks there made us a delicious hot breakfast and shuttled us to Amicalola Falls State Park.
We got to AFSP around 10am, filled water bottles, signed in, weighed bags (one of the girls' bags was quite heavy--~30 lbs!--and we pleaded with her to turn over any excess weight she was smuggling, she aquiessed and turned over a book and an extra top. I suspected there was more.
We took pictures under the arch and were off, straight up the hill. In the wrong direction. A ranger at the bottom of the hill sorted us out "Well, you can go that way, but if you go the right way it'll be easier." The 'easier' way led us by a stream and straight to the base of 600 strenuous stairs. Strenuous. I felt the burn, I huffed and puffed. Though I suspected some of the girls would cry on the way up, none of them did. The day continued to be strenuous (why doesn't anyone ever say that the Approach trail is HARDCITY? Seriously, folks at home? The Approach Trail is HARD.)
Besides the stairs we did two more big climbs over Mt. Frosty and out of Nimblewill Gap over Black Mountain. Though the trail was initially steep out of Nimblewill gap, the trail crosses the mountain and then begins a gentle, meandering descent into Black Gap, where we made camp.
No one was using the shelter so we put the girls' tents behind the shelter and made dinner at the picnic table in front of the shelter. Tortellini and pesto and sundried tomatoes. Yes, these girls have gourmet taste. I'm not complaining. Hung our food--the shelters in Georgia all have bear cables. Basically, there's a heavy duty cable strung between two trees. From this horizontal line hang 4 pulleys with clips at each end--think flag poles--and these are fastened to the two outer trees. You unclip a cable from the tree, attach your food bag to the business end, hoist it up to the horizontal cable and then clip it to the tree. Easy! Though hanging bear-bags is usually the most hilarious part of the day, I was glad for the user friendly nature of the bear-cables. After the food was up we had a campfire and were in bed by 9 (Hiker Midnight).
|The Eaglet Express|
|Taking a break at Nimblewill Gap|
|Checking out tomorrow's topo|
|Plotting something mischievous...|