I got to the hiker hostel at about 8pm last night. The hostel is really nice and the staff is great. I got up before anyone else and snuck in a shower.
The staff made us breakfast at 730 and by 845 we were headed to the mountain with a suburban full of 13 hikers. We had to drop hikers at various spots on the trail until finally we got dropped off at Amicalola state park. We signed the official thru hiker registry (I was hiker number 261), weighed our packs and were on our way. My pack weighed 26.5 lbs without water. Its heavier than I expected but you won’t here me complain. Some hikers had 50+ lb packs.
The stairs up the falls were tough but the rest of the hike today was great. It was cold and windy but I felt great and was really pumped to finally be out here. I went ahead of the other six I arrived with because I was feeling so good. I made it to black gap shelter at 245 and began to set up camp.
An hour or so later hikers started rolling in but only one from my hostel group. Randy had some whiskey and shared some with me. I’m sure I’ll be returning the favor if we match speeds.
I made dinner at the shelter and met the others. There are two women and a man who have hike the AT before but they are not in a group. Also two guys came in later and they are tenting.
I am writing this from my hammock and hail is falling on my tarp. There was hail earlier and it built up and weighed down my tarp so I had to restake it so if it hails or snows throughout the night it will slide off.
I am pretty excited for tomorrow where I’ll actually be hiking the AT. There is 1.2 miles left of the approach trail and then I will be officially starting.