The last remaining obstacles are now passed – my torn shoulder in particular is much better – and I have now booked my flights and organised my passage to the start of the trail on Springer Mountain, Georgia.
Leaving it so late made it hard to find reasonably priced flights, especially when I only need a one-way flight into Atlanta and a one-way return from Boston. Airlines charge you MORE for a one-way flight than a return which is bizarre.
My start date therefore had to be pushed back a few days, in order to save me about £500 ($800) – well worth doing! My itinerary is:
9th April (night). Stay in a hotel near the airport. There are only two that are actually connected to the airport (by the Skytrain, first stop on the way to the car rental center), both Marriott hotels. I’m at the SpringHill Suites one, the cheaper of the two.
10th April (day). Take ‘Marta’ train north of Atlanta. Stop off at Walmart and REI en route to stock up on supplies such as food and fuel. Get picked up by Hiker Hostel shuttle.
10th April (night). Stay at Hiker Hostel, Dahlonega.
11th April. Hit the trail. Hiker Hostel drop you off about a mile from the start of the AT.
… time passes… everything from now on is up in the air…
16th September. Deadline for getting to Katahdin in time to make it to my friend’s Nicole’s wedding on the 20th on Mount Desert Island, Maine.
23rd September. Fly back to London from Boston.