Solo Hiking, But Not Alone


Midway Between Unicoi and Addis

Day 9 … Sunday, February 28

Saying good-bye to my wife once again.  These “steps” mark the trail for about the first climb and then the trail turns into a natural, rugged path.  I left Unicoi Gap at nine and arrived at Addis Gap at 3:45 pm.

Swag of the Blue Ridge

Swag of the Blue Ridge

The Swag of the Blue Ridge is an area at mile marker 62.1 on the trail and elevation of 3,475′.  It is a pass which marks the swag between Tray Mountain and Dismal Mountain.

The hike was approximately 11.5 miles and a relatively uneventful day on the trail. However, it was the first day without my navigator SlimTim. I will miss him, he was a good trail mate.  I did get to see Catherine and my MIL, Alice.  We all had a good time in Helen, Georgia where SlimTim and I ate BIG hamburgers at Big Daddy’s!

Day 10 on the trail of stunning view!

Day 10 on the ” trail of stunning views!”

I left Addis Gap at  9:00 this morning, arriving at Dick’s Gap 12:10 p.m.  It was another short day for me because once again I didn’t sleep well last night.  Strong storms and rain are forecast for tomorrow and I plan to sit out the downpour.  After this point on the trail, I won’t have any hostel or cabin/hotel options for a good 40 miles.

Top of Georgia Hostel landscape Day10

Something for the “it’s a small world category” I met a gentleman today who is a firefighter from DeKalb County Georgia. His name is Eric Chastain.  We had a nice conversation during which he mentioned he is a firefighter.  Something in common and a small world indeed!

Day 10 Hostel
After my short hike today I decided to spend the night at a place called “Top of Georgia Hostel and Hiking Center”.  This place is nice and clean with very good staff.   If (!) it rains tomorrow (forecasted 100% chance!) I plan to go into Hiawassee.

Top of Georgia Hostel and Hikers Shop

I’ll be bunking at this hostel, my first on the trail.

Georgia Hostel bunkbeds

The nice folks at the hostel gave me scrubs to wear while they are washing my clothes. They clearly know how to take care of hikers!

Upgraded to Dr. Daugherty?

Upgraded to Dr. Daugherty?

This is my second zero hike day but I hope to spread them out in the future.   As the post title says, I am now hiking solo, but not alone.

From The Trail,

God’s unseen presence comforts me,
I know He’s always near;
And when life’s storms besiege my soul,
He says, “My child, don’t fear.”   —D. De Haan

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14 Responses to Solo Hiking, But Not Alone

  1. Eileen Waddington says:

    Sorry to read your buddy has dropped out. Do take care now you are on your own. It sounds like you are being sensible in how you are approaching all the challenges. Wish I was nearer would love to walk a section or two with you. 😀👍


  2. Maggot says:

    Don’t worry about the zero hike day today, it’s a leap year so in my opinion this was not actually a countable day. So take advantage of the freebie. Looks like you found the Ritz Carlton of the Appalachian, scuba and laundry service. I would verify that the mint left on your pillow is actually a mint and not something a critter left you…you are on the Appalachian trail you know. Take care and ROLL TIDE.


    • Pilgrim says:

      I forgot about leap year but it works for me! Speaking of scuba, If my memory serves me scbas weigh about 30 something pounds,am I right well got to get back to lolling. Dad



    • Pilgrim says:

      It may not be the Ritz Carlton but I slept well. Yeah!


    • Dusty Stephens says:

      Praying for you, Pilgrim. If it’s the Lord’s will, I have no doubt that you’ll go the distance. You’ve shown true grit every time you ran a marathon; 26+ miles at an impressive pace! And no one becomes a Chief – a leader of men – without extraordinary fortitude. But if for some reason you don’t go the entire length of the trail, it will not be counted loss. How can it be? For you have faced the elements, conquered the terrain, and communed with God in the midst of His handiwork. Now, how can that be anything but gain?!

      So no matter how much of the 2,190 miles you journey, at the end of the trail, you can take comfort in knowing that you witnessed firsthand the awesome peace & power of our Heavenly Father as it was faithfully revealed to you during your own Pilgrim’s Progress.

      Stay Alert. Stay Alive.

      Vaya con Dios, amigo,


  3. M E Mattox says:

    Looking forward to your continued daily posts. Sorry about SlimTim. Praying for you as you continue the journey. May God Bless and keep you safe.

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Irby Simpkins says:

    Thanks for continuing the blog. I am vicariously participating with you in your journey and in prayer for your success and safety! I am glad that you are rested and had protection from the elements. Irby


  5. Bonnie says:

    I am really enjoying your post and beautiful photos. Now that I read you stayed out of the storms I think you are a smart man! I wasn’t so sure when I heard you were hiking
    2,000 miles!!! God bless you and your adventure. You are in my prayers each morning, and you are so right that you are not alone.
    ” Never will I leave you,
    Never will I forsake you”. Heb. 13:5


  6. Your nosey neighbor says:

    Pilgrim ,thinking of you every step of the way.You can do this.


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