So far, I have been able to decide on a few goals that I want to achieve in this new year.
First, I want to go on a hike in a new area. The Georgia and North Carolina areas can present some great hiking, but I have spent the last 6 years hiking in these areas and rarely had a chance to branch out. To remedy this, I hope to do some serious traveling at some point in this year to go on a multi-day trip. Whether that be out west, or possibly farther up the Atlantic coast, I have yet decided, but I will be sure to post an update here as I finalize plans.
Secondly, I want to get out and go on a multi-day trip at least once a month, every month. My goal here isn’t so much to go out 12 times in the year, but to get out throughout the entire year. I’m trying to lose the down time that I often face between December and mid March.The winters here in Georgia just aren’t harsh enough that I should stay huddled up inside.
One challenge I face with this goal is finding hiking partners who want to be outdoors with this frequency. With college over, most of my old hiking partners have spread out and started working full time jobs, which makes getting them together much more difficult, and I realize this will lead to some of the hikes being solo trips. However, I’ve noted that I have more trouble getting motivated for solo trips, especially during these cold months or during really bad weather. This leads me to my final goal: create a backpacker’s guide to the Cohutta Wilderness area.
This goal is to give me extra motivation on goal #2. This basically boils down to me doing a “hike every trail in _____” list, except I want to use that time on the trail to create a single place to find details on the area specifically for those hoping to do overnight trips. I think this area is pretty unique for Georgia, but is generally overshadowed by the AT. Linking trails together in Cohutta is a bit more challenging then just following the AT, but that can present all new options for those people out solo hiking and not wanting to grab a shuttle or looking for something besides a straight line highway type trail. From some of my hikes last year, I have started a rough outline with trail overviews for the trails I have completed. To this I plan to add some details about hike times for certain sections of trail, water sources, and campsite locations, which I am still hashing out how to present. Also, I want to try out some different routes through the area, mostly loops, to see what out-of-the-box thinking can create as far as varied trips. I’ve got time planned for a first trip to the area for 2014 over MLK weekend, and I am going to try to knock out a couple of new trails at that point as well.
Please feel free to check out the page and give any feedback there.