The Beginning of a Long Journey!
The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2200 miles long. Hiking this trail is a long and arduous journey, yet right now it seems like an easier task than getting a 100+ year old piece of property ready for thru-hikers by the start of thru-hiker season. Yet that is exactly what I intend to do. After acquiring 1513 and 1487 State Highway 60, Suches Ga. 30572, less than 2 months ago I began that work immediately and I am proud to announce the opening of Above The Clouds Hostel, March 1st, 2020.
When the southern terminus of the AT was moved to Springer Mountain in 1959, 1513 State Highway 60 was operating as Tritt’s Country Store. It was originally built in 1900 and sits on the corner of Cooper Gap Road (Forest Service Rd. 42) and State Highway 60 across the street from Woody lake. It served hikers, hunters, fisherman, travelers and locals alike. It operated all the way up until the mid 1990’s and was boarded up until a few weeks ago when I exposed the interior of the store to the light from the outside world for the first time in 25 years. Imagine very old hardwood floors, lots of cobwebs and dust.
Sitting just behind that store is a house that was built in 1945. Both properties were owned by Howard and Audrey Tritt. Audrey passed and then a few years later in 2017 Howard did as well. He was 100 years old. The properties had not changed hands from the Tritt family since land records have been recorded in Georgia until I bought the place from Laura Gooch, Howard and Audrey’s daughter. I am honored and excited to be tasked with the responsibility of once again making the property a haven for hikers, travelers and locals alike.
We will cater to all travelers and adventurers but especially to those who commit to hiking the AT from Georgia to Maine. Strategically located just 2.4 miles west of the AT crossing at Gooch Gap (mile 16.9) on Coopers Gap Rd, and 1.3 miles west of the AT crossing at Woody Gap (mile 20.5) on State Hwy 60, Above The Clouds Hostel will be the first hostel thru-hikers come to when setting out on this life changing journey.
My name is Matthew “Lucky” Lee, I am a LASH (Long Ass Section Hiker), US Navy Veteran, World Series of Poker Champion, Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Entrepreneur, Escapee of corporate America and the new owner of AboveTheCloudsHostel. I hope that you will follow my journey and consider starting yours here at Above the Clouds Hostel.