Journal 23-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Sunday–March 14,  2021
Trail Day–023
Trail Mile–16.7/265.3
Location–Rustic Cabin on Furnace Creek

A fine finish to a mighty fine day yesterday, supper prepared by Donna–leafy green salad, beef stroganoff, Texas toast, polished off with delicious homemade cookies!

A little resourcefulness needed, but plans did come together yesterday evening for our hike today, a 16-miler from West Armuchee Road to Keown Falls parking lot. Friends want to hike with me today; the Groves, Tim and Angela; and the Tates, Tim and Donna. Logistics are working, vehicles have been parked, shuttles completed. We’re together, packs up (group photo) and we’re off to John’s mountain a bit after eight (time change last night didn’t trip us up).

It’s another glorious day, to add to the 22 others so far this journey. I’ve never hiked so many consecutive days without rain–ever! Climb, climb, then views down and across the nearby mountains–shrouded in early morning fog. Two large creek crossings today, West Armuchee, then East Armuchee. Both are at road crossings. Back where I was raised they’re called fords. Here, locals call them underwater bridges. A local, Mike Brannon, comes and hikes some with us, brings a copy of Ten Million Steps for me to sign. Lunch time after the East Armuchee crossing, then it’s climb time again, up, around and to the overlook on John’s Mountain. A stop at Keown Falls to watch the kids playing in the spray from the falls, then it’s down and down some more to the falls parking lot to end this delightful hiking day.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the neat old rustic cabin on Furnace Creek–and Leland O’Bryant…

It is good to have an end to journey toward;
but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
(Ernest Hemingway)

3 Comments on “Journal 23-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

  1. First of all, Enjoy the journey and then some. I had first tried to hike the AT in 2018. Long story short, I learned 1001 ways how not to hike the AT and broke down in Gatlinburg. I have since learned what will work for me to have a successful thru hike and a big part of it, listening to other experienced thru hikers and dropping all my stubbornness and opening my mind, heart and soul. I needed to change if this lifelong dream of mine is going to happen. I have heard your name mentioned in a few different hiker circles. I came across a short YouTube Video recently where you were being interviewed. I was immediately drawn very deeply into what you were saying and my whole world and my dream of thru hiking the AT just seem to harmoniously converge a giant epiphany just about made me pass out. Your final words were so powerful and beautiful that I was moved to happy tears and in fact wrote it down in my book. You said, “It is the people, the places, it is the pain and the trials, the joy and the blessings that come with the miles. its a calling going out to a fortunate few to wander the fringes of God’s hazy blue.” and with that sealed my decision that yes, yes I am going to the Appalachian Trail. I will be thru hiking starting in Feb 2022. Thank you, Thank You so much for your wisdom and words that I will consume when I am hungry and drink of when I am thirsty.


  2. Get ready, my friend. The rain & storms are coming. Colder by the weekend. Stay safe. Hike On!


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