Hey everyone. This is Stacy (aka Sis) checking in to let everyone know that Bets and Dustan have been successfully dropped off at Springer Mountain. We drove almost 4 hours on Monday through Tennessee into Georgia, stopping only to get fuel for their camp stove and some extra long Slim Jims. See Left: Dustan getting fuel in the background. The drop-off destination was much more remote than any of us thought it would be. (2 hours of country roads, 7 miles of narrow gravel road straight up a mountain- in my sports car!) You can't tell from the pictures but it was snowing and COLD. There were about 5 other hikers in the lot where we stopped but I'm not sure if they were through-hikers or not. They just saw Trail with her pack and said "That's hardcore, man". Music to my sister's ears, I'm sure. Ha.
They were so excited and as you can see, Trail was geared up as well. Betsy called Mom yesterday from the top of a ridge in Georgia. They had hiked 8 miles and it was 24 degrees on their first night. They slept well though and were toasty in their sleeping bags. In a couple of weeks, Mike and I will meet them at the mouth of the Great Smokies to pick up Trail. She'll be staying with us in Knoxville for a few weeks while they hike that section of the AT then we'll meet them again in Max Patch, NC to give her back. I'll will update with any information I have along the way and will pass along any comments that are left to them when we see each other in a couple of weeks. Thanks for everyone who is praying for their safety and sharing the excitement of their trek!