|Hike Name:||Chattahoochee National Forest - Toccoa River|
|Trip Date:||February 5, 2000|
|Trip Weather:||Sunny, Partly Sunny|
|Trip Winds:||Light to Moderate|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 41-50, Low: 11-20 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||2/05/00 (Saturday): The Kidd was at my door around 9am this morning for a backpacking trip to the North Georgia mountains. We hit Burger King in Dawsonville, then a Walmart and USFS office in Dahlonega on the way to the trailhead. I left my steak in the freezer and had to stock up on food at Walmart today and while we were in the area we stumbled onto a USFS office and decided at the last minute to hit the Toccoa River instead of Blood Mountain which was our original destination. It turned out to be a great call.
The Kidd and I arrived at the trailhead by noon and hiked for three miles to the suspension bridge at the river. There was lots of snow on the northern slopes and most of it was glazed over and very icy. The Kidd’s crampons were a big plus and we made it to the bridge by 3pm hiking no more than a mile an hour with the ice. The southern slopes were clear which gave us an occasional break during the hike. The Kidd and I chilled out on the bridge in the afternoon sun as three other groups showed up for the night. I was amazed at the amount of trail traffic for a winter weekend and with temperatures in the teens.
We had a long battle with the fire tonight since most of the wood was wet from the snow. The Kidd eventually got it cooking with dry driftwood but by the early evening we were tired of messing with the fire so we huddled around the candle lantern instead. We eventually jumped in the sleeping bags about 11pm after checking out the stars from the suspension bridge. I boiled up a Nalgene of hot water and threw it in the bag before I hit the sack. The bag was quite toasty the rest of the night and the Nalgene bottle was the only one that didn’t freeze solid during the night.
2/06/00 (Sunday): It was damn cold when the sun came up this morning. I ended up stripping a fleece layer off during the night and zipped up the bag to my nose to trap some heat. After that I slept like a champ in my tent. The Kidd and I were up by 8am to pack up and hit the trail around 9am. I had a flight to San Antonio for a sales conference at 5pm, so I wanted to get back early. We decided to take the Forest Road 816 out to the truck. We weren’t sure if it would work but it did and the forest road saved us about 1 ½ hours of hiking since there was less snow, ice, and fewer hills to climb. We hiked to the truck by 11am and made a short stop at the BP for some sodas and snacks. Cruised home by 1:30-2pm, then unpacked and repacked for Texas.
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