Monday, December 28, 2015


Setting myself a little goal in 2016 and that's to hike the first day of every month.  Preferably with friends, but either way, feet on a trail.

I'd post the list here, but what if you are a crazed stalker?  Besides, I keep changing it.  If you want to stalk me, just check major trailheads in Alabama and Tennessee, the frazzled looking one is probably me!

I am pretty excited about having my plan in place!  We have also worked out details for our first jaunt on the AT-we are hiking from the start to Neels Gap, some 30 miles away.  We have 4 days to do it with the group, which we will need because of the terrain.  I am thinking about continuing on by myself and finishing the Georgia section, just under 80 miles total.  It says 76 on one map and 79 on another, not counting the 8.8 mile approach trail from Amicalola.  Which we are doing as a day hike beforehand so we can count it.

click to embiggenate

There's some small part of me that feels like since I have already been to the highest point on the AT several times, I should be able to hike it all.  hahahaha.  There's a BIG part of me that sees those jagged lines and knows my ass is in trouble.  Literally.  It all can't come with me!  But where to leave it?  Hence, the challenging first of the month hikes!  And weekly hikes so I have signed up for a 52 hike challenge.  I'll go walk any time I can, especially if someone will go with me.  I thought about a gym, but here is what I will do: go gung ho for a week, overdo it, get REALLY sore, injure myself, lay around until I feel better and then never go back.  Unless there's a pool.  I also love to swim.

So, in backpacking gear updates, I have scored a used 20 degree down bag that comes in at just at 2 pounds.  I bought a brand new (last years discounted model) Osprey backpack.  Oh it's LOVELY. Now my base weight of bag, pack, pad and tent is....9 pounds.  If I could just not eat or need clothes, I could skip along the trail.  The flat bits that is.  I'm not hard core or anything.

Matt wants a pack like mine now because (quoting) "the logo looks like it's from a video game*".

*not a video game

So I am selling some of our extra gear to help fund that transition as well as get the same pack for Ben because his narrow hips are not made for the pack he has and the Osprey hip belt is superior to any other I have found for adjusting to a huge variety of hips and non hips.  In a pack that costs less than $300 at least.

We planned to keep our extra stuff so other people could come with us, but as Matt pointed out, we've had the gear for over a year now and no one has joined us yet who needed it.  I still have more tents, bags and pads that I need to sort out.

Yesterday we had an impromptu campsite planning and baked tater dinner.  Well, it was planned ahead and then plans changed because of the weather and then it was back on and then the new puppy can't come so it was back off and I decided we all really needed to go to Chattanooga and finally Katy slapped me around some and said "that's it, we are coming to your house so stop being crazy.  I will bring a salad." Zola stayed home with her greatgran to come over and give her a potty break. She will be fully inncoluated in 8 more days!  So, with about 3 hours notice, I had the first people over in over a year.  And it was fine.

The chicken houses were not invited, but invaded the fun anyway-the smell, much like the floodlights all night and the dubstep-inspired wub-wub of the fans 24-7, is just a thing we get to have now. Right across the road.  I can only hope he will follow his usual 'farming' methods and run this into the ground in a year or two.  Probably with a fat fine from the EPA.

The walk in the woods was fun and despite my efforts to mow a path, the briers still attacked.  And a few ticks.  And I fell over a root and banged my shin, which did not hurt at ALL until I saw the bruise in the tub earlier today and I immediately needed arnica gel, which I still somehow keep putting on my owies even while I know it's not going to help.  I think it's that I am putting some kind of voodoo on a bruise, it's psychological.

So we have the campsite picked out, the kids hauled some rocks and laid out a fire ring and we all walked single-file and shuffled our feet to make a path that I can hopefully follow after all this new rain comes through and start work on a 'real' trail.  We just use deer trails and the old log roads, but apparently not everyone can see those!  There was much crashing about and bleeding from walking into briers.  Plus we need at least one bridge-like device for the bigger creek, that's the most difficult bit to navigate.

Still, it's a project and the kids seem pretty excited and it will get me out of the house, which is becoming a thing.  I will recluse to the point of implosion.  hahaha.  Is that even possible?

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.