Sure, flying straight to Atlanta and getting on the Appalachian Trail from there would have been quicker and more direct, but I prefer the adventure (and cheapness) of the road trip. Back in October I was hoping to be on the AT by the beginning of March, just like when I through-hiked in 2007. But that was only a vague guideline. Here’s how my trip from Belfast to Georgia worked out in the end.
Part 1: My dad was driving through Boston on March 7 for a business trip, so I stowed away in his car as far as South Station. Total cost so far, $0. From South Station, I picked up a $15 ticket on the Fung Wah bus to New York City. After a few hours hanging out with Kate in NYC, I hopped on a $10 Chinatown bus to Philadelphia.
Part 2: After a week in Philadelphia, tomorrow I’ll take a bus to Baltimore. Cough Drop has been visiting his brother there, so I’ll ride with him down to southwest Virginia.
Part 3: Cough Drop’s week off starts next week, so I’ll hike around the Roanoke/Catawba/Pearisburg area in Virginia on the AT. The weather is supposed to be nice, so it’ll be good to revisit a section of the AT that was a bit of a nightmare for me when I was there last. I was perpetually exhausted, lonely, freezing, and wet on this section three years ago. This time I’m hoping to enjoy the views from the Dragon’s Tooth, Mcaffee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs. This will be much better.
Part 4: Cough Drop and I will drive down to Georgia to hike for a while down by Springer and the North Carolina border and meet some of this year’s AT through-hikers. And we’ll see where it goes from there.
It’s been a bit of a crazy week. Today, in Philly, there are hurricane-force winds and torrential rain, so I’m kind of glad to be inside. But I’ll be even happier to be hiking once the clouds break.