Journal 37-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Sunday–March 28, 2021
Trail Day–037
Trail Mile–0.0/400.8
Location–Toccoa Suspension Bridge Parking


Two problems today. Well, not really problems, just that the day’s not working out as planned. Turns out, today will be another zero-mile day.

First, an early morning look at the radar tells the story, pretty much what we’d expected to see (but were hoping NOT). A dense, organized line of thunderstorms headed right for us, likely to arrive, looks of it, within the next three hours. I’ll not be able to get my hike in before or after this storm wall comes slamming through. Not enough time either end. Out in these wicked electric storms? No place to be.

Second, my new phone still isn’t up to speed; it’s not right. It’s critical I have my Atlas Guides, my maps for the Benton MacKaye and Appalachian Trails, they need to be totally reliable. They’re not. So, another trip back to Blue Ridge today, back to the Verizon store there. Thankfully, they’re open limited hours, starting at noon.

We arrive Blue Ridge early; time for breakfast at Waffle House. Eggs, toast, hash browns–around. And a pot of coffee. Enjoying that coffee, in comes one of the racing teams from yesterday–Chad Tidd; Andy Hull; Jeff Nixon;

Lupe Luna (all from Mt Airy NC); Mike Lawson (team/crew leader)-Claudville, VA; and Jason Willard- Pilot Mountain, NC–(pictured in that order).

Mid morning the storm front arrives. Heavy rain. Outside in it? No place to be. When I’m into a long trek, I really don’t like down days. Throws everything off. However, the decision to sit this one out–right decision.

And Verizon? Today at twelve, open right on the dot. “Welcome to Verizon,” a genuinely happy smile from Emmanuel! A call to webmaster, Nathan, and my app problem is solved (wasn’t a phone problem, rather, an app installation problem). Thanks, Emmanuel, I’m all set now!

Earlier, Barry saw their sign out at the highway, “Blue Ridge Mountain Bar-B-Que – We’re Smokin’ the Good Stuff.” Well, guess we could have passed the place on by. Best idea, though–head in. And we did. Another right decision today! Great place you got here, Andy; you “…Smokin’ the Good Stuff!”

Short time, we’re right back to the campground at Skeena Creek Mill–for our fourth night. Kind folks, Gabriel and Lori, they’ve made us feel right at home. Thanks for your kindness folks, you’ve made our stay most pleasant!


If I’m out in it, I’ll go.
But I’m not going out in it!

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