When one of my best friends Anna texted me and asked if I would be up to going hiking with her and two of her guy friends from school, my first reaction of course was “when where and what time?” because who doesn’t love getting out of the house and starting the summer off with an adventure. However, then the proceeding text from her said “oh and by the way, the hike is going to be about 8 miles.”
*looks around the room*
The more I thought about it though, 8 miles didn’t sound too terrible, and I’d be in great company so it seemed that the pros outweighed the one con. So, although hesitant, I accepted the invitation along with one of our best friends Kendall. I woke up the next day extremely excited, however, completely unprepared, for what was headed my way.
Prior to the hike, we assumed the trail there and the trail back together would be about 8 miles and would most likely take about 3 and a half hours.
After the hike, we realized that even if you put 5 college students together, two even being from Georgia Tech, that does not increase your chance of an accurate estimation of time and distance…
Around 26,000 steps were taken.
Countless necessary breaks to catch our breath. Other necessary breaks to take in the mesmerizing views. Then some breaks for merely questioning our location due to a rational fear of being lost in the North Georgia mountains past dark.
With a total of 6 and a half hours of hiking and about 10 miles later…. we made it to the highest point in Georgia: Brasstown Bald.
“We will never be at a higher elevation in the state than we are right now.” – Anna
It was a very strange feeling being at the highest point of elevation in the state at 4,784ft above sea level. We had never experienced such an intense silence. When you looked out to the horizon, you could barely see anything except a few street lights way below and the hint of pink leftover from the sunset. And when you looked up, it was like the sky had Christmas lights strung across in every direction. It was incredible.
We may not have gotten there the way we expected or in the time frame we had hoped for, but sometimes that’s how you get the best stories. In this day and age where people are constantly moving and never slowing down to rest because they “just don’t have a spare minute to relax” or they “just have to do this one more thing”, I think it’s possible that some of us have entirely lost the ability to realize that there is more to life than a career or school. In the grand scheme of things, if you don’t take the time to get out from behind the work desk or put the books away and take a study break just for a day to see the wonders that this world has to offer, you’re going to miss out on a lot in life and that’s a shame because you can’t get that time back. So set aside just a day, a mere 24 hours, and plan a road trip with friends or family, take a break from the stress that might be currently consuming your life, and get lost somewhere: in the woods, on the beach, in a book, on back roads.
In 6 and a half hours we accomplished a lot. Not only did we reach the highest point in Georgia, we made some new friends, made tons of new memories, and got an incredible story out of it.