Day 1 March 11, 2017
After a restful sleep at the motel in Helen Georgia, Catherine and Alice drove Pilgrim and I out to the trailhead at Unicoi Gap to begin our 2017 hike. The weather today turned out to be very pleasant. Although we had light sleet at various times we were both comfortable hiking. There were a lot of climbs and descents and it looks like it will take a few days to get our hiking legs. We saw probably 8-10 hikers on the trail but all but 2 were “day hikers”. I was very jealous of their light knapsacks they carried on their backs. Lee and I are carrying around 34-36 pounds each. This is a little less than last year as we’ve both figured out a few things that aren’t necessary.
After 11 miles we arrived at our campsite at Addis Gap. We were tired and after fetching water, setting up tents, and eating, we took to our tents for the night as it started to rain and sleet. We’ve been told we’re supposed to get an inch of snow tonight … we’ll see.
On the drive down from Nebraska, I ended up listening to a lot of classic rock on the radio. You know how you can get one song that loops in your brain for hours or days after the music is turned off? Stephen King calls these songs “ear worms”. Well, my ear worm today happened to be Carry On by Crosby, Stills and Nash — no not “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas, although that would have been more appropriate!
Carry On contains the lyrics:
We have no choice,
But, to carry on.
I suppose this is more a metaphor for life more than hiking. We do have some choices when to hike and not hike, but in any case, it was stuck in my head. Maybe it was due to the “carry” part of the song.