1/2/14 – Day 3: GA shake down hike

9 miles, 27144 steps, Cooper Gap to Woody Gap along the AT

As anticipated, the rain began overnight, happily after the last time I had to get up to pee, always a plus! It seems to take so much longer to do anything in the rain – packing up, walking through muck, you name it. Luckily enough for me, Joan kept her hammock tarp up and invited me to join to eat breakfast. We were quite a sight with our bear canisters and umbrellas covering our feet, that’s for sure. A lovely morning of light rain and mist, but not too cold or windy, made for a lovely and atmospheric hike.

How easy it is to forget lessons previously learned – forcibly reminded today was that my body does in fact need calories to function efficiently. Normally this is not a problem for me, my stomach is more than reliable….unless when it’s rainy and I’m hiking, and I simply don’t want to stop. I was crawling at times, especially in the last 3 1/2 mile section from Gooch Gap to Woody Gap. I had only a pro-bar for breakfast, and a luna bar at about noon…wasn’t cutting it, that’s for sure! I took 5-10 mins to wolf down some snacks and more water, and cranked out the last mile (on easy terrain) in 20 mins. Go figure.

We had heard it would be a very cold windy night, and Joan’s friend Kelly was a super duper trail angel and picked us up after a short day. We retrieved my car at Amicalola, then back to Joan’s house (now known as awesome base-camp) to dry out wet dirty gear and revamp the hiking plan for the next few days, focusing on our goals of carrying a heavy food load in our canisters. Ahhhh, training.

Gear shake down comments:
1. Total convert to the cult of the backpacking umbrella here. Yowza, I am kicking myself for not trying one of these before the AT last year. Amazing wonderful to help regulate temperature, eat without food going to mush, take photos, the list goes on and on.
2. Sigh, the saga of the new tent continues. Had rain splash under the tarp last night. Probably user error in that I didn’t pitch it taunt or close enough to the ground. Trying to keep in mind that there is a learning curve, but I so despise fiddling.
3. Toe socks in the rain – major pass, I have found my new socks!!

Rocking the new umbrella!

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