Raeley was on a mission trip to Longbeach, MS
The boys were at boy scout camp.
Cameron went to visit her grandparents.
What were Mark and I to do? Something we hadn't done in years.
So we dusted off our gear (my hiking boots, Mark's backpack, and all the small things were the same).
Mark started researching, and I started dehydrating food.
It consumed every spare moment for a week or two. And I must admit I would wake up at night and worry every once in a while how it was going to turn out.
But the day came and we were off.
Here is a quick overview:
Kids leave Sunday, I return home at 5 pm from dropping them off.
We pack and I clean house (who wants to come home to an unkempt house after being in the woods for a week?).
Mark works on his spreadsheet of caloric/protein/fat intake.
We go to bed much later than intended.
4:30 am came early.
Up and at 'em and the last shower in a private shower for a week.
We leave Tupelo at 5:05 to be exact and head to Georgia.
We stop in Atlanta at REI to see about replacing Mark's pack, but they were just too expensive.
On to Dehlonega GA, a very quaint town we wish we had more time to see.
We met friends of Mark's for lunch at The Crimson Moon, and it was great to get to know them better. Lunch took longer than we intended, but it was all good (both the company and the food!).
We stopped in an irresistible shop next to the restaurant, then one last coffee, and we were off!
We dropped our car at the end point -which is the beginning point for many. We decided to walk the trail south bound (sobo in AT talk) to end at the big waterfall (on a downward slope for it is very steep) at the welcome center.
Our friends asked us if we had a knife for the bears and Mark suddenly remembered what he was looking for the night before and couldn't find - a larger knife -he only had a small one. Mike pulled out this long knife in a case that you can velcro to your leg. My eyes got big. Are bears really that much of a problem? Do you think I would have a knife like that if they weren't, Mike replies. Well, that knife was a little too big, so he pulls out another one that is smaller. I'm beginning to wonder about this whole thing-just joking. I would like to see a bear from a distance I think! You have to admit, that sounds pretty cool, especially since I hear all you need to do is make racket to run them off- unless you leave food out - a big no-no I don't intend to make!
They drop us off at Woody Gap, 28 miles from our car, and leave us there.
And into the wooded bliss we submerge.