In the Metro Atlanta area we are experiencing what the local media has decided to be a “winter storm”. It’s nothing really, just some flurries, temps in the 20’s or thereabouts, and then the sleet. Yankees laugh at us, but the truth is our roads are paved differently here. EPA and other gubmint agencies (damned revenuers) force the southern states to use products and procedures that allow water to collect and runoff in order to siphon off the h2o. This is done so we can have full reservoirs (the Corps of Engineers) and oysters (Florida and Gulf Coast states). The result is ice forms in sheets on the roads, unlike the northern states where the water actually gets off of the road pretty quickly either by evaporation or movement. Laugh all you want yankees, but you still have oysters and shrimp.
So the weather sucks, and shrimp and oysters will be harvested. Meanwhile we (Bailey and I) have a decision to make.
Do we hit the top of Springer on Wednesday, March 4th, or wait a few days? The de facto weather gurus for my area reside at WSB, and they predict shit weather for several days, with a break next Friday (WSB Five Day Forecast). Michelle came to me with the news, and I am feeling pent up already. But what’s two days? Or three?
I’ll tell you what those days are. Time. Maybe we will put together our first few days of food? A repair kit, or a lighter first aid kit. And wait. I am anxious to start, but the anxiety swings the other way as well. It is miserable out there. Say what you want about the wonders of the trail, even on dreary days, but I know different. I stood on the backside of Blood Mountain with sleet coming down, holding a rifle, and then trying to trudge back to camp. It sucked. So the pendulum swings.
We will leave on a Saturday, and we will probably be in a crowd of hikers at the top of Springer Mountain. In fact I know we will be in a crowd. The ATKO 2015 starts March 6th. It will sort of be like a trip to Disney World. People milling about, excitement, and pictures being taken. But no elderly people complaining about the line as they maneuver around on electric scooters.
This decision, which was somewhat encouraged by Michelle, came about after the last of “gear runs”. Today we bought all the stupid crap. Ziplock bags, ibuprofen, band aids, duct tape, instant coffee, and nail clippers. I bought a Z-Lite pad at REI, and I broke down and went with the Sawyer Squeeze filter (just so I could be like the other kids in school).
So instead of only six days left we now have only nine days left. Not a big difference. More time. Time to program the dvr to record all of the shows we will miss. Time to actually organize our food by meal types and days. Time to match our socks. Time to allow winter to slink its sorry ass away.