Day 11 & 12 Franklin NC on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Day 11 Thursday 20 April to Day 12 Friday 21 April

Total Distance: 5.7km and 7.2km

Mountains: Powell Mountain 3840 ft / 1170 m,

Combined a couple of days as I didn’t do that many miles on either day as I wanted to maximise my stay at Top of Georgia Hostel.

I have been meeting up with a group of hikers at the shelters for a couple of days now and they are really quite a cool bunch.

Although of course I am still Serena and a bit competitive so had to set out early on Thursday morning and run down the hill into Dicks Creek Gap, just to beat the boys. Ahh how some things just don’t change 😊

I discovered last night that my bear canister was tearing holes in my backpack so it has to go. Even though I have used it to wild camp and it is so much easier to deal with then bear bags, I can’t have my backpack destroyed!

So I got Imposter to show me how to hang a bear bag and get some general tips on making sure that my food etc is secure. Georgia is well equipped with bear bins or cables, but not every State is the same.

As I got to the hostel first, I secured 6 beds for all of us so we could be in the same area together, and the rooms were filling up fast!

The Top of Georgia Hostel well equipped and very very clean, it is real value for money.

They have a shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off at Dicks Creek Gap, but I walked to the Hostel.

In Awols Appalachian Trail guide book it mentions following the blue blazes to the Hostel. When I got to the road I had to smile, as it is an unofficial blue blaze track.

The path is well worn and easy to follow. The Hostel also drops you off and picks you up in town which is handy. Oh and washing is $5, and while they are doing your washing they give you scrubs to wear. It is hilarious, but apparently everyone in town is use to seeing hikers wandering around in scrubs.

The guy at the electronics shop said when the Hostel first opened and hikers were wearing scrubs around town, he did wonder if a new nursing course had started up.

We stopped in at the local Mexican restaurant first which was fantastic after rice and noodles all week – apparently the town food satisfaction levels will only rise as time goes by.

The only Ines missing were Breeze and Pilgram, they decided on an all you can eat Buffet.

I stopped in at the post office on the way to the supermarket to send my bear canister home and the postal clerk remarked that in all his years he hadn’t seen canisters returned, however this year mine was the fourth! Cost $35USD to send home…considering how much it cost me, I was not about to put it in a hiker box (a box of unwanted gear free for other hikers).

On the morning I was due to head out, the Hostel owner Bob ‘Sir Packs-a-lot’ gives a talk about hikers and the trail. This was quite interesting. Three things stood out for me:

  1. When we start walking later today we will be part of 75% of hikers that carry on from Dicks Creek Gap
  2. Over the lady few years, the demographic that has been completing the Trail are those ‘older’ hikers, the over 50’s…the theory is that this group had put up with work and bosses they may not have liked and kids that make you want to pull your hair out.
  3. That the average miles per day is around 15.

So feeling good about all that.

Of course now that I have re-supplied, there is a hill to climb!

Plumorchard Shelter has got to be the prettiest Shelter and area so far.

This shelter was also the first time I slept in a shelter. It was okay, but felt harder than if I had slept on the ground.

All in all it was a good couple of days and looking forward to getting back into it again. 😊

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