Day Five: April 19, 2022 Poplar Grove to Cheese Factory, Profile: +3161/-2721 12.2 miles; Total 56.2 miles

In the words of my Grandson Quin “That was the best day ever!” I woke up to frost on my tent but the sky was crystal blue. I happened to be the only person on this ridgeline and it was glorious! I had missed the vistas yesterday because of the constant rain, sleet and mist, but today more than made up for it. When I opened my vestibule of my tent, I saw this magnificent sunrise.

Sunrise from Poplar Ridge

I meandered down the trail in no big rush. It was such a whimsical day with green luscious plants, shrubs, bushes and pines. The trees without leaves were still in the foreground but greenery had taken over. Thank goodness. It appears winter is still alive and well as there were ice crystals on the ground and icicles hanging from the waterfalls. Did I say it was freezing last night?

Icicles from Waterfall

Today was a sharp contrast from yesterday. There were so many day hikers and thru hikers near me. Maybe with the sunshine, people came out of their shelters and meandered back to the trail. I met the nicest people out and about. This sweet couple Lorraine and Marshall stopped to talk with me. Marshall asked if I wanted an apple? Of course I do, and to my chagrin, it was my most favorite Green Pippin Apple! What a blessing I thought. As Lorraine and I talked, she asked my name so she could pray for me and my safety on the trail. I shared with her my blog and my faith. God knew just what I needed today. While at Unicola Gap, a trail runner asked if he could take my trash. He was headed home and there were no trash receptacles for hikers. Wow, I was double-blessed in such a very short time. I thought I was suppose to be doing the blessing? Like I said earlier, it was the best day ever!

Backpacks at Unicola Gap

My only concern so far, is my mileage. I had anticipated that I’d be hiking more miles daily. I just can’t seem to get my rhythm or my trail legs. The constant ups and downs, which many call PUDS (Pointless Ups & Downs) are more than I anticipated. It seems you never really get to stretch your legs out or hit overdrive because there’s numerous rocks, roots and PUDS in the way. On many of the trails I’ve hiked in the past, the trail is groomed like a ski hill, all the bumps mowed down and easy graded cruising hills. I haven’t found this in Georgia. They say that Georgia and The Whites in Vermont are the hardest parts of the trail. I’m not sure if that’s gospel. I just think that Georgia is the first state and hikers are trying to find their way. Anyhow, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with my spreadsheet and schedule. I may consider throwing the spreadsheet to the wind and just doing what I can and knowing that God has me right where he needs me. Now that’s a thought!

Mangroves and Moss

Today I met a new group of hikers. All the people I was hiking with before have left the trail for the finer things in life like showers, laundry, flush toilets and running water. So I’m in a new bubble. Most of the guys, yes all men, have started a few days before me so I’m not that terribly slow. I caught up with Matt who is SpeedBumps #14 Walking Stick Recipient. He said he’s becoming quite fond of his new walking stick these days.

Matt with SpeedBumps #14 Stick Giveaway

As I made it to camp tonight, I thanked the Lord for this incredible day. I had many interactions with hikers. Some Christians that recognized my cross on my pack and proclaimed their faith also. The Brothers who I have dubbed “Two Men in a Shed” are Crusaders for Christ. It seems that the good Lord is surrounding me with like-minded people and sprinkling in opportunities to speak the truth to others. I am just here for His purpose and to shower others with love. What a glorious God I serve.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

8 thoughts on “Day Five: April 19, 2022 Poplar Grove to Cheese Factory, Profile: +3161/-2721 12.2 miles; Total 56.2 miles

  1. Hi Kelly,
    Remembering meeting you briefly on the trail on Tuesday. We were praying and thinking about you this AM. Praying for your protection, endurance and health.
    Love your blog! You are an amazing ambassador for Christ! We will continue to follow your journey with God. Thank you for sharing your experience!
    All the best on the AT,
    Lorene and Marshall

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad that God connected us. The apple was scrumptious. It was hard eating it in front of the other hikers 😀. I’m headed to Hiawassee today. Staying at Around the z bend Hostel. What a lovely place. Thank you for your continued prayers. Hope to meet up again


  2. Your an amazing messenger Kelly, always with a smile!! Praying for you to be safe and warm.
    Happy for all of your trail Angels


  3. Your an amazing messenger Kelly, always with a smile!! Praying for you to be safe and warm.
    Happy for all of your trail Angels

    Trying to post says I’m duplicated


  4. More examples here of analogies comparing your hiking analogies to the Christian walk. PODS…. Those ups and downs in our life that seem pointless but eventually lead to our next destination…..


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