|Susan, me, and Renee/Pathfinder.|
This "practice” trip for the PCT, ironically enough, took us to the terminus of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Georgia, starting at Amicalola Falls State Park up to Springer Mountain (with a visit with Hammock Forum friends- nice to see you guys!), and then north to Woody Gap. Due to winter weather, we then headed to lower elevations on the Chattooga River Trail near the South Carolina/Georgia border to continue our trip (out and back between SC 28 and Sandy Ford Rd). (Thanks again Kellye for the weather advisory and ride!!!!)
|Susan and I on Springer Mountain on New Year's Eve.|
|The Chattooga River near Dicks Creek Falls was plenty cold- it still got into the low 20's.|
One of our goals for this trip was to practice carrying bear canisters. I recently bought a bear canister (BV500) for my PCT trip, and though I’ve been shlepping the bear canister around (here and here), this was the first time I’d tried packing it with six days of food plus the first day’s food outside the canister. While bear canisters are required on certain parts of the PCT, using them in Georgia is quite uncommon, and they are only recently required here (i.e. on the AT near Blood Mountain during thru hiker season).
|Trying to get all the food into the canister.|
|Reflective tape for finding the cans in the dark.|
|Huddled under my tarp on the AT. Probably the only bear canisters and umbrellas around for miles.|
You might recall that our first shakedown trip two months ago involved high levels of gear angst. We were worrying about changing our gear for the different conditions we anticipate on the PCT. We were struggling with the awkwardness of new gear (i.e. our packs, lighter shoes, electronics) and trying to be open-minded about change.
|Playing around with our water systems.|
Is it time to start hiking the PCT yet?
|We're feeling (almost) ready.|
|Obligatory photo of lovely, glimmering, tree foam! Woo hoo!|