Those questions were soon answered.
The Boy Scout troop for which I have served as an assistant scoutmaster for the last 18 years decided to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail. Eventually it was decided we would hike the Approach Trail and the first 52 miles in Georgia.
I was excited, thinking this would be an ideal training hike. It was to be a full week and would be on a section of trail I have never hiked before.
Well, it could be ideal except for a few things. Summer in Georgia is not necessarily the best time to hike. It can be hot, muggy, or rainy, or it can be hot, muggy and rainy.
And I would be hiking with boys ages 12 to 15. The distances per day would be kept too short to gauge my endurance.
Thankfully, I should not have been so worried.
When we arrived at the parking lot of Amicalola Falls State Park to find it a breezy 75 degrees under partly sunny skies.
Our crew was made of just 6 boys and two adults, besides myself. Because the boys are minors and I have not secured permission from their parents, I will not use their names or show their faces in photos. The adults were Scoutmaster Andy Moehl and Assistant Scoutmaster Dave Duhamel.