The Approach Trail in 3 minutes
Straight off the bat I can see why some people quit their thru-hike attempt after the Approach Trail! Two things hit you: 1. Crap is this what the Appalachian Trail will be like and 2. Really is this what the Appalachian Trail will be like!
I can also see why some people don’t do the Approach Trail. From the Amicalola State Park visitors centre you stroll merrily down the lane until you begin the first of many leg killing ascents. Maybe not leg killing if you’re really fit and put in the hours of pre-training. But when you haven’t – that shit hurts!
I met a number of thru-hikers on the Approach Trail: Herbie (who has done a couple of sections already), Nik a cool young and energetic 18 year old and a lady named Lock who seemed pretty cool. We were going to try and meet for lunch at Black Gap Shelter however I was too slow and turned up after they had moved on.
However the two guys at the shelter, Matt and Windows (I gave him his Trail name but he may not use it) were really interesting so instead of making my way to Stover Creek Shelter, I decided to stay the night and have a great laugh with these two guys.
They had some fantastic stories and had me entertained for hours. There was a lady (can’t remember her name, so I shall call her yellow bandana lady) who had broken two of her toes, got airlifted out, had them ‘fixed’ then started out on the trail again! Now that’s commitment.
So while this set me back a bit, it was worth it. Tomorrow I shall go from Black Gap Shelter to Hawk Mountain campsite…nothing but up and down – the stories at the end and the memories had all be bloody worth it is all I can say 😊