Sunday, April 14, 2013

Beginner Backpacking Trip to Stover Creek Shelter

I had so much fun this weekend helping out with a Trail Dames beginning backpacking trip on the AT in Georgia.  We had several first time backpackers and even a women joining the Dames for the first time.  And as happens so quickly when we backpack together, we soon were all laughing and having some great conversations.
We were fortunate to have a few hike leaders including Michele (AKA Certain) from the Central Virginia Chapter of Trail Dames.  The last time we'd seen Michele was on the Trail Dames hike leader training last summer, but it was so much fun to do a trip with her and hear some of her stories of hiking the AT and starting her new business.

After visiting Long Creek Falls, we hiked to Stover Creek Shelter and helped everyone set up camp and get water.
Practicing throwing the rope for the bear bag.
Even though we hung our food on the bear cables, we still taught everyone both the PCT and Certain's method for hanging bear bags.  Everyone caught on quickly and soon there were bags hanging high up in the trees.
In the evening we sat around and told stories.   It wasn't too cold, and I don't think people even missed having a fire.  We had a hilarious, and hopefully informative, discussion of peeing, pooping and periods on the trail.  Always one of my favorite parts of a beginner trips because it helps women feel more comfortable outdoors when they get all the questions answered about this stuff.  I think the guys a the shelter probably overheard more than they wanted to hear.  Hahaha!

We fell asleep to the sound of coyotes howling across the mountains.  In the morning, the hike to Springer Mountain was gorgeous with spring flowers including bloodroot, troutlilies, and yellow violets.  All in all a great trip and I hope to see all these wonderful women out on the trail again soon!


  1. So different when it isn't snowing and winter, which was my view in March 2010! Looks like fun...I need to find a group of hiking women around here.

    How's your friend doing on the AT?

    Also, I think this is you in the second photo:

  2. It sure was a lot of fun. If you can't find anyone there, you could always join us for a trip-- and see part of the AT again. :)

    Last I hear, Pathfinder was almost through the Smokies! She's doing great.

    Oh my yes, that is me in the photo! How cool!

  3. Thanks for meeting us on the hike and for camping with us. I think it was almost a perfect weekend.

  4. Yep, my friend, it was an exceptional trip. Only thing that I think could have been better if we'd been out a few more nights.

  5. well, we could have kept Maine.

  6. Oh yes, that would have made it totally perfect!