Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Goodbye GA and hello NC

[Note from Julia here: I have been assuming that the next state after Georgia is South Carolina, because South is before North when you are walking in that direction! However! When you look at the map, South Carolina only goes west so far and North Carolina does overlap with Georgia. In fact, according to the map I have, the AT doesn't even go into South Carolina. So sorry if I mislead anyone.

I got a text from Gronk as I was leaving yoga class and when I got home, there was this email from him. Enjoy!]

Monday 4/22 - Thank you GA, hello NC.

Well, if yesterday was a 1/10 today was 9/10!

What a difference a day makes. I was strong and my heart stayed in check. I kept up with MacGyver all morning and he only pulled away after lunch but I was with him again for the finish at six.  It was over 12 miles today, our longest.  We're at Standing Indian shelter. There were 4 climbs that took us over 4500 feet. Tomorrow is our first climb over a mile to about 5500 feet. 

It will be cold again tonight.  No cell service so I'm writing this ahead of time and will paste into email when chance presents itself. 

Beautiful day out here today. The woods were fantastic. I really enjoyed it today. The hiking was hard but wonderful. 

We tried to do our first legitimate bear [food bag] hang as there are no bear cables and MacGyver volunteered to use his line. It went over the branch pretty close to the trunk. We hoisted the bags, inserted the stick and then let the bags back down to where the [carabiner] meets the stick. It's the stick that prevents the bags from [sliding?] all the way down. At least that what's supposed to happen. Instead we let released the rope and nothing happened. The bags stayed where they were up at the branch and the stick dangled just above head height by held rope was stuck

[Note from Julia: I had to fix some garbled text and auto-corrected text that didn't make sense, so I hope I got this right. Here's how not to do it. Instead of tying string to the rock, put the rock in a little mesh bag! Here's the system I think Gronk is using. At least, it has a carabiner in it, but I don't know about the stick thingy.

UPDATE: Here is the system Gronk is using! Also seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeriders/8647859695/ ]

We had no choice to climb the tree to free it. It was a skinny tree and Mac was up to the challenge. 

Hope I can send this tomorrow from that big hill we're crossing. Down to 15% power also so may be last one until Franklin, NC Wednesday night. 


  1. What tremendous progress Gronk is making!!!!

    I am not surprised.

    I'm enjoying the posts. Keep them coming.


  2. Good to hear that today was much better. Climbing 4500 feet over 12 miles is quite an accomplishment. I really enjoy the posts and the pictures. Good luck with the first climb tomorrow!

  3. Hi Gronk: Glad to hear that you have had a good day on the trail. I am following your journey with a lot of admiration. Gary

  4. Love reading you! Stay warm and dry!!

  5. Glad to hear things are looking "up"! I'm enjoying following your adventure. Post a picture of your face... we want to see how your Gronk beard is coming along!

  6. Thanks for all your comments! I last saw Gronk two days ago (on FaceTime) and his beard was a little scruffy.

  7. Peter, I am really enjoying your comments and thanks to Julia for posting them. I really look forward to following your progress. Take care, Kathleen