They say that getting there is half the battle. If that is true, then I should get a medal just for the commute to the trail.
I took a bus to "Hotlanta" yesterday and stayed the night in the worst hotel ever conceived. The free breakfast consisted of dirty, already peeled hard boiled eggs and warm orange juice. I once found half of a watermelon left in the sun at a trail picnic site more appetizing. The coffee was good though, even if the tops were too big for the cups... by about 2 inches! Of course the girl that worked there said she knew that, but still asked me to put the top on anyway if I take the shuttle bus to the airport. I looked at her and lightly flicked the coffee top with my finger and watched it fly off the cup and the table. Yeah ok, like that top will keep me from spilling the coffee all over myself and the driver.
Anyway, back to the commute. While on the bus yesterday I spent most of the day figuring out how to get to the trail. There's many options and most are expensive. I decided I would take a bus to Gainesville, Georgia and then taxi to the trail, a $125 option. This was the best I could do since my schedule of getting into town didn't sync with the hiker hostel pickup schedule, the $70 option.
So after checking out of the Uncomfort inn, I got on the train from the airport to the center of Atlanta to the bus station only to find the bus to Gainesville FULL. I laughed and told the lady at the counter "no problem." In truth it wasn't as I'm finding that going on this trip without a jump-off plan liberating somehow.
As luck would have it, ten minutes later I got a call from Bill, a fellow who does last minute pickups in Atlanta to the trail for less than the bus option. I emailed him last night just incase. Bill said it would take 3 hours to get to me...and as I'm expecting 3 hours to go up north. Well that's fine with me! I'm happy there are folks out there doing this service for hikers.
Well, in order to meet Bill, I had to get back on the train and head as far north as I could, to the end of the line. One again I found myself in laughter as this darned train station was in the middle of nowhere. There wasn't even a vending machine...just the wind blowing...with tumbleweeds rolling by. I have to wait here for 3 hours? Ahhhhhhh, no. I got on the train for the last time and went south one stop where they have a Starbucks. Yes, coffee! I called Bill who said he was happy to adjust the pickup point.
Thank heavens, it may be dark when I start hiking today, but at least I'll be there.
And away we go!
PS. I did eat that watermellon