5 Lessons from the First 5 Days
It’s now the end of day five. I’m comfortably camped after leaving Neel Gap this morning. Here are a few things I’ve learned since being on the trail:
1. The approach trail is no joke.
I hiked the approach trail the first day on my way to Springer. No, it hasn’t been the most challenging part, but for a first day, it was tough! First there’s the stairs, and finally there’s an ascent of Springer. In between there are enough up and down small mountains to wear anyone out!
2. Poles help.
If used correctly they can help propel you forward. On downhills (and to a lesser extent, uphills) they can help take some of the pressure off your knees. It took me a day or so to get used to mine, but now I love them!
3. Uphills tax lungs, downhills tax knees.
Pretty self-explanatory. I’m watching my downhills. My knees have to last until Katahdin!
4. Blood Mountain isn’t as difficult as you think it is.
This may only be true for me, but I didn’t think it was as bad as some of the other summits we did! The uphill isn’t bad, there’re lots of beautiful views at the top, and if you go slowly down, you’ll be okay.
5. You don’t have to be alone unless you want to be.
There are enough people (on the beginning of the trail at least) that you can always find people to camp with. I’ve been hiking with a really amazing group of people so far, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Thoughts? Words of wisdom? Let me know in the comments!
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