Appalachian Trail - Ramrock Mountain - March 29, 2002 - Member Trip Report

Hike Name: Appalachian Trail - Ramrock Mountain
Country: United States
State: Georgia
Trip Rating: 3 stars
Trip Date: March 29, 2002
Duration: 2 days
Trail Conditions: Excellent
Trail Traffic: Light to Moderate
Trip Weather: Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Cloudy, Fog
Trip Winds: Heavy
Trip Precipitation: Rain, Showers, Thunderstorms
Trip Temperature: High: 61-70, Low: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit
Trip Report: 3/29/02: CC picked me up at work this afternoon for a quick trip to the mountains in North Georgia. We rolled out of the parking lot (after I cleared my truck with security) and headed to Dawsonville, GA to wait on The Helmet and Doughboy who were in heavy traffic around Exit 9 on GA 400. Met both of them at the Texaco in Dawsonville and made a quick stop at the gas station and nearby Kroger for some last minute supplies.

Arrived at the trailhead at Woody Gap by 5:30pm tonight. The place was crawling with thru-hikers and I enjoyed catching up with them while CC loaded her pack. There were at least ten thru-hikers at the trailhead and I gave one group some extra supplies to pass on some trail magic.

It was windy and cool at Woody Gap. We hit the trail and were surprised to find some thru-hikers camping at a site about ½ mile from the trailhead. The Ramrock Mountain site was vacant, however, and we made it to the campsite in about an hour without much effort.

We decided to hang out and watch the hawks from an overlook rather than pitch our tents when we hit the campsite. The dogs battled briefly, but settled down while we watched four hawks circle high to the southwest. Unfortunately, they didn’t blitz the rock outcrop like they did on our last visit.

We eventually set up camp around 7pm as the sun was setting. I also put up a tarp since the weather forecast was for rain by midnight. The wind kicked up significantly around 10pm, but the rain and strong thunderstorms didn’t hit until 1:22am. Earlier I saw a thru-hiker that had adopted “The Ray Way” and had a school-size backpack on his shoulders. I imagine he had a long night tonight with only a poncho for shelter. It rained almost non-stop until 8am on Saturday morning.

The Helmet and the ladies got the fire roaring, then we sat around and enjoyed some snacks for a while. Chili Mac was on the menu tonight. The Helmet and Doughboy had pre-cooked the meal and it was easy to warm up for dinner (and quite tasty as well.)

The temperature was perfect tonight. It was very peaceful around the campfire, and The Helmet and I lit up some cigars, then joined Doughboy to cook some of her trademark deserts. By 10am, the winds picked up in the southern skies. I had to take down the tarp since it was blowing all over the place and making a ton of noise. We crashed around midnight and at 1:22am woke to heavy thunder and lightening followed by rain that lasted throughout the night.

3/30/02: My tent leaked during the storm and by morning there were puddles of water on each side of my sleeping pad. We packed up our gear inside our tents, and hit the trail for Woody Gap around 8am. The rain stopped for our hike out, and it was actually an enjoyable walk back to the truck. The area was socked in with fog this morning, but the forest was quiet and peaceful.

Woody Gap was buzzing with activity when we arrived. A bunch of weekend hikers had given up with the miserable weather (which was forecast to continue all day today) and most of them were packing up and heading home. CC’s dog got loose when we walked into the parking area and decided to hang out in the middle of the GA 60. Fortunately, no cars came by since the dog would have been hard to spot with the fog.

We loaded up our packs, then headed into Dahlonega to McDonalds to get some breakfast. A bunch of Scouts were there, and like us had just come from Woody Gap. They decided to bail on a weekend trip on the A.T. which was probably a good call. It rained most of the afternoon and during the evening, as it turned out.

CC drove us back to my office by 10:30am. She dropped me off at work and I headed inside to get my computer. Drove home by 11:00am and spent the rest of the morning hanging up all my wet gear.



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