Friday–February 5, 2021
Location–Flagg Mountain Tower,
then to Caperton’s Old South Store, Weogufka, Alabama
This year’s trek will be known as “Odyssey 2021 ‘Bama to Baxter – Hike On.” This will be the ultimate journey in this old man’s life, one of body, mind and spirit.
This trek begins on Flagg Mountain in Alabama, by the old CCC observation tower situated on the summit, the southernmost mountain in the Appalachian Mountain Range (at least as we know it to exist on the North American continent). From here I’ll hike generally north on the Pinhoti Trail, the Benton MacKaye Trail, then to follow the Appalachian Trail to Mount Katahdin in Maine, a journey of some 2,600 miles, a time frame of six months, give or take.
With dear friends, Nathan Wright and Sherrie Hansen, and a little after ten (and a photo op), we pick up the blue-blazed Alabama Pinhoti Trail–and we’re on our way.
First stop, the old Flagg Mountain Ranger’s Cabin where we’re greeted by Sherrie’s mother, Carol. Another photo op and it’s on down the trail past the old log and stone cabins, thence to quickly descend into the remarkable and picturesque Weogufka Creek Gorge. It’s a perfect day for hiking as my friends share this joy with me, the beginning of another odyssey.
The trail is challenging, plenty of climbing, with delightful vantages and overlooks. One provides a look back–all the way to the Flagg Mountain tower on the distant horizon. Folks constantly tell me there are no mountains in Alabama. Ahh, but dear friends, there are mountainins in Alabama!
Mid-afternoon, and after a short roadwalk, we arrive at the crossroads in Weogufka, Caperton’s Old South Store. Here we’re greeted by Tammy Caperton. Tammy and husband Cape are enthusiastic advocates and supporters of the trail. They keep a register for hikers to sign, then to have their picture taken. So, it’s picture time again. And the old Nomad signs the register. A cold pop and a Snickers–a perfect ending to a perfect day…
You’re off to great places,
today is your day.
Your mountain is waiting,
so get on your way.