“You become like the people you spend the most time with” Jim Rohn
That is just fine with me. I spent the first weekend in March at the Amicalola Falls State Park. The park is the location of the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail – on Springer Mountain. The ATKO (aka The Appalachian Trail Kick Off) was being held this first weekend in March at the lodge within the park. My hubby and I drove 6 hrs to be there along with vendors, speakers, hikers & the hiking community.
I booked us a spot at the campground within the park. There was also a “tent village” area close to basecamp where some hikers were staying at a very reasonable price, but with my reluctant camping hubby, I “treated” us to a private site with water and electric. I brought my thru hiking gear, never missing an opportunity to practice using it all. My lightweight Nemo 2 person tent (is NOT really a 2 person comfortable tent) so my hubby brought the family “Taj Mahal” tent which looked massive next to mine. Didn’t matter that he had an electric blow up mattress with a lamp inside on top of a table. I was so happy to have him there supporting my hobby. More like a passion at this point. . I know he would have preferred to stay at the warm and cozy lodge where all the activity took place.
Listening to the presentations, seeing the recommended gear, meeting the people – gave me all the feels! I asked questions, bought merchandise and became like the 5 people I surrounded myself with that weekend. I obtained social media info as well as pictures of these impressive folks. I felt at home and supported already. This community is so supportive that there were 2 hikers there that both thru hiked the trail in 1973, Yes 50 yrs ago! Warren Doyle & Mic Lowther
Before heading back home, I stopped by Basecamp. This is where hikers starting their North Bound Journey (NOBO) sign in, get their tag, listen to the Leave No Trace speech before literally starting their walk. I watched 2 male hikers get their bags weighed.: 29 and 42 lbs. they also had their pictures taken. It was great to see it all before my actual launch date – a bit reassuring. There was a hiker box there (discarded items that hikers decided they didn’t need in their packs) and I was able to snag something I could use. Thanks Hiking Community!
One last thing was to climb the stairs leading up to and parallel with the beautiful Amicalola Falls. It was a beautiful sunny day for it. Just a couple of more weeks before we are back for the official launch. We DID book the lodge this time – it’s a big milestone! This is really happening.
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