Lindsay and I signed into the Appalachian Trail log book at Amicalola Falls State Park as 2014 AT Thru-hikers numbers 1248 and 1249. There are many more hikers that don’t go to the traditional starting point and don’t sign in, so the actual number of people to start this year ahead of us is more likely 2,000. Nonetheless, we signed the symbolic book and the not-so-symbolic process of walking hundreds of thousands of steps towards Maine began.
Our starting pack weight, with full water bottles and about 7 days worth of food turned out to be 55lbs for me and 47 for Lindsay. Most hikers lie about the weight they are carrying though, so to ask one on the trail what they might have is a useless way to compare. We still plan on dropping anything we determine is useless and mailing it home in the next week or so, which should help drop us our last ten pounds of non-food weight that will get us to our optimal pack weight.
Even the act of weighing our packs at the start of the AT seemed surreal to me, and as I sit in the tent writing this, it still is. I thought a lot on that day about how on the first day of any great journey you are filled with apprehension and anxiety of what is to come. Once the journey starts though, those feelings subside to the day-to-day task of getting to the end, which in this case is Mt Katahdin. The last day of the journey seems to have this magical, reminiscent feeling, as you bring closure to what just happened.
With the right planning, common sense and a little bit of lady luck, Lindsay and I should be standing at the top of Katahdin in 160 more days. Hopefully we can cover the process of getting there and the after effects too and you enjoy going on the digital AT with numbers 1248 and 1249.