I completed the Georgia section early today and went from mile 74.1 to 90.7 in one easy step. Maybe a few more than one.
Today was probably just as hot and humid and yesterday but I managed it much better today by soaking myself in the ice cold water from the many mountain streams one comes across. I say ‘stream’ but most are just trickles that pass over the AT creating muddy sections for a few yards. But even if it meant getting grit and leaves and other natural stuff on me it was worth it to cool down. I would also soak my Buff (a tubular bandana much beloved of thru-hikers) and put it around my neck because there are many veins taking blood to your brain so cooling this area is very effective.
Today was the first day I hydrated fully (4 litres during the day plus a litre for making dinner and a drink) and eat pretty well too (I was somewhere between 2500 and 2800 calories today, admittedly 1000-2000 short of ideal but it is sufficient).
I hiked alone all day, as I have every day except that today I only ‘crossed’ one hiker all day and we chatted briefly.
After 10 hours of mostly alone time and no phone signal all day it was quite nice to get to Beech Gap tenting area at mile 90.7 (one of the largest flat areas encountered so far which, btw, has two more sites on the west side trail leading to the water) and see about 6 other campers in the site including Timber from last night. Wired even showed up later, having taken a half day off and still caught me up, doing nearly 21 miles in just 9 hours. I ate dinner with some of the other campers, a social aspect of the AT that Wired prefers to avoid, and then hung out with later.
So today was a work day, not too much to report other than long walks up and down hills. The trail did cross one dirt road parking lot and there was a pickup truck parked there with no owner in sight. But he had left a large ziplock bag with about 12 slices of pepperoni pizza in on top of his truck. I assumed they were trail magic of the most nonchalant kind so took a slice. So I maybe stole part of someone’s picnic, not sure. Wish I had taken two.
On this stretch away from civilization I am aiming to get to Franklin for my first town stop and take a zero (a day with no mileage) to fix up my feet, get resupplied, do laundry and generally get back to a good situation. After this there is a week with one outdoor centre to resupply from on day 3/4 and then it’s the Smokies for a week. So not much lazy time coming up for the next 2 weeks.