Day 2-4: A Rough Start

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Day 2: Long Creek (Mile 4.7)-East of Justus Creek (Mile 15); 10.3 Miles

Our first night on the Appalachian Trail brought bitter cold and powerful wind. We had planned for cold weather but 9 degrees (with wind chill) chilled us to the bone. Neither of us slept much.

In the morning when we pulled the tarp stakes out, clumps of dirt were frozen so solidly to the stakes that we couldn’t remove the dirt. We finished packing up quickly and started hiking to get our blood flowing. Gradually our fingers and toes began to defrost.

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As we warmed up, Shutterbug began to notice that his left knee was sore. The pain was slight but it was bothersome to swing his leg forward, especially on downhill sections.

Day 1: First Steps on the Appalachian Trail

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Day 1: Amicalola Falls State Park Visitor Center (Mile -8.8) to Long Creek (Mile 4.7); 13.5 miles

Periodically on the Pacific Crest Trail we crossed paths with an energetic guy named Young Geezer. It turns out that Young Geezer and his wife Patricia live in Atlanta near the Appalachian Trail’s southern terminus. They offered to be our first AT trail angels. They were awesome. Yesterday they picked us up at the train station, shared a big dinner with us, and let us stay in their spare bedroom. Today they not only drove us to the Appalachian Approach Trail, but hiked the first few miles with us.

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We signed in at the Amicalola Falls State Park visitor center as AT thru hikers #351 and 352 for 2013. Then we set out on the 8.8 mile approach trail to the official beginning of the Appalachian Trail.