Friday, March 30, 2012

Whitley Gap Shelter Photos - March 23, 2012

Here's some photos from the 
Whitley Gap Shelter on the evening of  March 23, 2012.  There were lots of thru-hikers in the house - and the weather cleared in time for a great sunset.  Best wishes Class of 2012!


A stormy start to the day.  It rained all morning and in to the afternoon.  The forecast was for it to continue in to the night - but fortunately that didn't pan out.


Zip and WalkAndEats at the Whitley Gap Shelter.  Zip is joined by his two dogs Skye and Mojo.  So I guess there really is Mojo on the trail (as I wrote in a previous article). 


KC (aka 30 Pack) watching the sun set over Cow Rock Mountain and the Appalachian Trail.  He hiked this ridge line only hours earlier.  


30 Pack after the sunset - looking southwest.  The storm clouds that lingered from the morning/afternoon made for some great photos this evening. 


2012 thru-hikers gathered around an evening campfire.  Despite the rain today, the wood went up easily and burned well in to the night.  


Atlas leads some jams around the campfire.  He earned the trail name for carrying both a guitar and a ukulele.   


Sunrise at Whitley Gap Shelter which sits 1.2 miles off the Appalachian Trail near Hogpen Gap.


Bear bags on bear cables at Whitley Gap Shelter.  Bears have been active south of here on the A.T. around Blood Mountain - but no issues last night.


2012 thru-hikers at Whitley Gap Shelter.  Only 2000 miles to go to Maine!


Scott "Zip" Willits continues the march northward the next morning.  You can follow his blog by clicking here.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

There Is Magic On The Appalachian Trail

Spring is a special time on the Appalachian Trail.   Every year, 2000+

people show up at Springer Mountain (the official start of the A.T. in

Georgia) to head north.  In 1994, I was one of those people - and ever since

I pause for a moment to think about the next group to head North.




This year, I had a friend making the annual pilgrimage and drove across town

to meet Scott "Zip" Willits on 3/16/12.  We met up at his sister's house in

metro-Atlanta, and it was a beautiful spring day - the kind that makes you

want to skip work.  We had some beers, worked on reducing his pack weight,

then talked of the adventures to come.  The Mojo was strong, so I met him

five days later at Whitley Gap Shelter in North Georgia.


There is magic on the trail and it is hard to explain.  If you are lucky

enough to experience it, then you know what I am saying.  Yet some things

are more easily understood through photos and video ...  so I'll let them

do the talking.  Best wishes 2012 thru-hikers!