Thursday, December 09, 2010

Chatsworth, Georgia

0 miles

Only three days out and already I'm taking a zero day (trail code for no miles hiked). I must be getting soft. Or three days spent in sub-twenty degree weather require a full day of defrosting. The real reason I decided to take a day off is because a friend is driving through town tomorrow and can give me a ride across the next forty miles of asphalt that is the trail.

I decided before departing that if I could avoid walking on concrete, I would. The Pinhoti Trail is allegedly complete, but this stretch of Georgia is connected by a significant section of road-walking, which is a peril of lesser-hiked trails. Last night we flagged down a ride from some Baptists going to Bible study on Wednesday night, and they gave us a ride into town. I joked with them about how they live along one of America's National Scenic Trails! They should see hikers all the time! Of course, they don't. I think we were the first people with backpacks they had ever seen, despite the famous Pinhoti turkey-track logo posted not 100 yards from the church's door.

Anyway, it's good to be warm again. We had a little snafu yesterday when we found a blaze posted in the wrong direction, and took at least a seven-mile detour down into a ravine. I have no idea how far out of our way we walked. But it was the prettiest non-section of the trail so far, taking us across two rock-strewn almost-frozen rivers, past a waterfall with huge scattered house-sized boulders, and down into a deep gorge and back out again. It's still no fun hiking in the wrong direction. Spirits were low for a while.

But after a four-mile night hike, in the still twenty-degree weather, fortified by a Snickers bar and church folk, things are looking up again. I'm looking forward to heading into the lower mountains, the ones farther away from the lower Appalachians. These four days were just to fortify our nerves to the cold--tomorrow starts the real continuing adventure. Which, I hope, will be warmer.

It's so weird to be in a climate-controlled room after learning to be okay with consistent below-freezing temperatures. Different parts of my body keep remembering to be cold, as if they're waking up. My skin is having weird reactions. It's crazy how the human body can adjust to almost anything, given time. And now my body is adjusting to having delicious pizza in my belly. That, I can adjust to any day.


edifice rex said... still on the trail? just checking to see if things (you) are okay.

Melissa said...

Still here! Just found internet access--I'll do my best to get some posts in!