Thursday, 28 April 2016

Appalachian Trail 2016: Getting to the Trail

Date: April 28, 2016

After several long days of travel, I have finally made it to the Hiker Hostel in Georgia (one of the best hostels I've stayed at).  Tomorrow I get shuttled to Amicalola Falls State Park where I will begin my journey.

My bus ride to Georgia began with a 32 hour bus ride from Hope, BC (my dad, being a particularly awesome guy, drove me to Hope to save me a day on the bus) to San Francisco, California.  This leg of the trip took me through Washington and Oregon, taking me to cities such as Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Salem, Sacramento, and Oakland.  I spent a weekend with family in the Bay Area before getting on another bus, this time for 62 hours, traveling to Gainesville, Georgia.  That part of the bus trip took me through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  I got to pass through Los Angeles, Phoenix, Lordsberg, El Paso, Dallas, Shreveport, Monroe, Jackson, Birmingham, and Atlanta (just to name a few cities ).  It was a very exhausting trip, but I am still looking forward to beginning my hike tomorrow.

The bus trip was long, but it was far from uneventful.  From LA to Phoenix I sat next to a lady who spent most of the time arguing with her boyfriend on her cellphone.  At El Paso a passenger fainted in the bus station, resulting in 911 being called.  She was traveling with her dog and the paramedics told her the dog couldn't go in the ambulance.  Another passenger, who was going to the same destination, offered to take the dog to the lady's daughter.  The lady became hysterical, convinced that the passenger was going to keep her dog.  It was heartbreaking to watch her beg and plead for the dog to stay with her.

Probably the funniest thing I saw was a man on the bus trying to sell his shoes.  I'm pretty sure he was doing this so he could get McDonalds, and even then I think all he cared about was getting the Monopoly pieces.

At the hostel I filled my fuel bottle with denatured alcohol, officially giving me everything I need for my trek.  I also raided the hiker boxes (a hiker box is a box where hikers can give up items they no longer want; it's along the lines of a take a penny leave a penny jar), finding a package of Ramen.  This made me happy as it means I can have one hot lunch before my next stop.  I also found some instant rice which I will use to top up my dinner tonight.

I'm going to make supper, maybe take one more shower, and then go to bed early.  I want to have lots of energy for tomorrow, when I will climb Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

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