Journal 27-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Thursday–March 18, 2021
Trail Day–027
Trail Mile–15.3/308.4
Location–Dennis Mill Cabins, Angie Hicks, Proprietor


Tornado warnings have been out across Alabama and Georgia. Flagg Mountain is closed, Dee, caretaker at Flagg was advised to lock the gate and leave. We watched the weather report closely all last evening. Radar showed the front to be incredibly dense, spawning numerous tornadoes in both Alabama and Georgia.

This morning, six o’clock, rain is coming down hard and steady, but a good look at this morning’s radar shows the front passing to the east. So, decision (again) is go!

Farewells are a sad time for me, this one, particularly so. Such a short while for a friendship to develop. But develop and bond it has, my kinship with Leland O’Bryant. Such a glad and happy person to be with. Going to miss the rustic old cabin on Furnace Creek–and the kind soul who lives there. So long, Leland; perhaps our paths will cross again.

There’s dense fog and it’s slow going up and over Dug Mountain Gap, then down the mountain one more time to Dalton. A quick stop to pick up Just Ryan & Little John, then off we go to breakfast at Four-Way Drive-In, before we drop the two of them off near the Chief Vann House. From there we’re headed to Dennis Mill Cabins where we’ll leave Copperhead’s car, then to be shuttled by Angie back to where our hike ended yesterday.

The storm has moved on through and the day is shaping to be a fine one. We’ve another roadwalk, 15-miles of it to near the Dennis Mill trailhead, where we’ll finally return to the mountain trail again tomorrow.

I’ve done my share of roadwalking, but today is quickly turning to be one of the toughest I can recall–narrow, winding roads, blind curves, no shoulders, heavy traffic. The Vann House is on our way and we stop to take in this historic place–and a break from the roadwalk monotony.

photo credit to Richard Moon

Back on the busy highway, a vehicle pulls I the side and the driver comes to greet us. Oh my, it’s Rick Moon from Dalton, one of the long-time trail volunteers here in Georgia who has helped make the Georgia Pinhoti the grand trail it’s become today. Great to see you again Rick!

We arrive late afternoon, tired and frazzled, at Dennis Mill Cabins, to be greeted photo credit to Angie Hixonce again by Angie.

A soothing shower, clean clothes, then to spend the evening with the Rhoad family; Steven, Kristin, and son Cameron–next Cabin down.

Oh yes, we’ll be overjoyed to return to the trail tomorrow!


Let me thy witness live
When sin is all destroyed.
And then my Spotless soul receive
And take me home to God.
(Hannah Hargrave, age 13)
Vann House tapestry – 1833

2 Comments on “Journal 27-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

  1. Enjoying following you and wish you well on your wonderful journey. I am now 80 but thru hiked the AT at age 72 (Mamaw B) being the oldest female for three years. I wish I could thru hike again but doubt I could physically stay with it now even though I still hike and backpack but cant do the long miles. Keep having fun and we look forward to following you. Maybe I can give you a helping hand when you are in the Smokies area. I maintain the AT section from Davenport Gap south to Chestnut Branch. Happy Hiking Sir!


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