Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 I happened to check the weather for Amicalola falls Dawsonville, Georgia and it was going to be sunny mid-fifties and mid-thirties at night.
I got the itch to fly down there and complete the Georgia section. It was my brother’s birthday, family and friends gathered at a local brewery. I presented this crazy idea to several people, each giving positive feedback on my idea. Once I got home from the party, I began planning. I pulled out my Awol guide book, Thru Hiker’s Companion Guide Guthooks app to look at the elevation, and notebook to begin planning my trip. Typically, when planning trips I mainly focus on mileage per day and not elevation. I am very strong minded and when I sent out a goal, I’ll do anything to achieve that goal even if it means crawling to the next shelter. I looked up flights to see what time I could possibly fly in and what miles I was able to do on arriving and departing days. Prior to making arrangements for a shuttle, this is what I came up with:
- 1/3/18 Thursday: Springer-Stover Creek Shelter 3.8 miles
- 1/4/18 Friday: Stover- Gooch Mountain Shelter 12.9 miles
- 1/5/18 Saturday: Gooch Mountain Shelter- Blood Mountain Shelter or Mountain Crossing Hostel 11.9 or 14.3 miles
- 1/6/18 Sunday: Blood or hostel- Low Gap Shelter 13.9 or 11.5 miles
- 1/7/18 Monday: Low Gap to Blue Mountain Shelter 7.3 miles
- 1/8/18 Tuesday: Blue Mountain Shelter- Tray Mountain Shelter 11 miles
- 1/9/18 Wednesday Tray Mountain- Top of Georgia Hostel 11 miles
- 1/10/18 Thursday: P/U from hostel to airport
Once I created my proposed itinerary, I figured if I was able to get a shuttle driver so last minute it was meant to be. I preceded to contact Ron’s Appalachian Trail Shuttle to arrange a ride from Atlanta International Airport (ATL) through Facebook. Ron apologetically informed me he had nothing available that day and directed me to Richard Anderson for a shuttle. I called Richard and was shocked he had availability to pick me up at 11:30 A.M on 1/3/18. He had informed me my plan to section hike the entire Georgia section was a little ambitious not knowing my abilities and the road I wanted to end it was not open at this time, which resulted in the above timeline. Once I scheduled with Richard, I booked my flight and began preparing my gear.