Tuesday–March 23, 2021
Location–US-76 near Blue Ridge
Barry found the perfect campsite for us last night, right next the trail. A fine evening. He insisted I stay in the van (nice bunk) and he slept in the tent. A quiet time.
We’re up way before daylight. Fire rekindled and there’s a fresh pot of coffee right away. Fried eggs and toast prepared by Barry will easily get me through this short hiking day.
I’ve managed to smash the faceplate on my iPhone and it’s only a matter of time before it fails, leaving me without my maps, and no way of communicating. So, decision is to make this a short hiking day–and try to locate a new phone, hopefully, in Dahlonega, where I’d also like to reconnect with some dear old friends.
There’s enough light to see shortly after seven, so pack shouldered I’m on trail.
After Bushy Head, the trail becomes a road walk, all the way to the Sisson property. Years ago, when Joe Sisson began developing his mountain holdings he set aside land for a trail corridor for the Benton MacKaye Trail to pass. It’s a delightful segment of trail for over four miles–along the mountainside, along spring-fed streams–and near many weekend and vacation homes. Here, the trail also passes a covered bridge and a fine shelter. I stop to sign the register. My hike ends today as I exit the Sisson property to cross the four lanes of nonstop traffic on US-76.
Dahlonega being a tourist town, thrives late week and weekends, so many businesses close Mondays and Tuesdays. So, for Woodlands Edge (Deb and Sherrie), and Brad Walker Pottery (Brad). But my friend Bill Scott is home and we’re able to get together for old times.
I’m in luck with my phone problem. Verizon has one and I’m able to get it set up, all my apps, contacts, and data–a true blessing.
In the evening, near Amicalola Falls State Park (where the AT approach trail begins), and at Under the Hemlocks, a neat retreat getaway owned and operated by friends Mike & Judy Fiorentino, Barry get us set up for the night. Local friends Tom & Vivian Lamb (organizers of “Spring on Springer”) and the Griffin family (Jeremiah, Tori, Lexi, & Lannie), who’ve come from Alabama to see me–they’re all here and we share a memorable evening Under the Hemlocks!
Though you are in your shining days
Voices among the crowd
And new friends busy with your praise
Be not unkind or proud
But think about old friends the most
Time’s bitter flood will rise
Your beauty perish and be lost
For all eyes but these eyes.
(William Butler Yeats)