Four Days from Springer….
A Plan Comes Together
This is a summary of events that happened in the last few months that will put me on the AT April 29th at 9 am. My wife is planning on doing a Facebook Live start of my AT hike. But for now, let’s go back some to the date of Wednesday December 14th. It was the presale day for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary tour tickets for legacy members of TomPetty.com. What that meant in this household was jumping on the computer and being ready to order tickets the moment they went on sale to get the best seats possible. We did not go for any of the special packages as they were way too expensive, and besides, I do not like floor seats. I am too short. Everyone stands up and at that point I might as well just sit down and listen. Made that mistake with U2 once back in 1988ish at the Rosemont. Was one of the worst concerts I have ever been to. So, my start date has changed. I was going to begin on Friday, April 28th. My start date has been postponed to Saturday, April 29th. The logistics have changed a little bit. Leslie and I will fly to Atlanta on Thursday April 27th. That night we will attend the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert in Atlanta. It is likely going to be the only concert on this tour of his that I will be able to attend, so hopefully he knocks it out of the park. On Friday, April 28th we will drive to Amicalola Falls State Park and stay in one of the cabins. We will spend that afternoon checking out the falls and the park. On Saturday the 29th, at or about 9 am I will begin my journey to Maine by driving to the parking lot near Springer Mountain and hiking .9 miles backwards to the start of the trail.
To Flip or Not To Flip
Jumping forward, I also have been looking at being at Harper’s Ferry by July 4ish and am having my doubts about making it by that date. A more realistic date is around July 10th to 14th. That is really not of concern as long as mentally I am ready to flip to Mt. Katahdin in Maine and start hiking south back to Harper’s Ferry. This brings up one other thing I have read in the past and expect to happen to me. Anyone starting after say about April 15th has time issues to get to Maine. All of the people they run into along trail, of course while trying to be helpful, let them know that they probably won’t make Maine because they started so late or some variation of that theme. I wonder what the over/under is on my hearing this phrase? I am going to try to keep track of all the “help” I receive in that regard for funsies. Anyway, as grand and majestic as it would be to finish on top of Katahdin, I also think Harper’s Ferry would be a fine place to finish. First time I was ever there was a high school trip to Washington DC. We spent a day at Harper’s Ferry. Neat place and with the headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Alliance there, it makes for a notable finish.
At the time of this post, literally four days away…
So here I sit, four days from setting foot on the AT and all I can think about is how much more I have get done before I go. I have boxes of food downstairs from Costco that needs packaging. I want to go through my backpack one more time before I set out and attempt to pare down the weight a bit more. I would like to work on my opening script a bit. What I mean by that is I have the first 14 days scripted out…where I am going to be and when. I would like to script the first thirty I think. I want to be careful and smart in the beginning so I don’t do too much and risk injury. I want to review the possible food drops so that Leslie has at least the first few set in her mind before I go. I would like to the plant the garden and learn more about my camera and InReach device. All of this and what I really want to do is just spend time with my wife.
Some, or many, of these things won’t get done. I can do some of them the first thirty days on the trail. I will have a lot of time in camp as I don’t have my trail legs and won’t be walking more than 7 to 10 miles per day initially, and then only 10-14 for a bit. I do know that once I have my trail legs, my camp time will be limited at best and my time will be limited to learn my equipment and devices. I also will lighten my pack at that point in time by sending home my hammock and a couple of other things I will be carrying to make camp time more enjoyable in the early stages.
According to my phone’s countdown app, I am 4 days from being on the trail. Looking forward to it and here’s to hoping to crossing paths with some of you.
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What an exciting adventure! We wish you the best of luck, and we hope to see you at a BIG PARTY when you get back!
Lynn and Barbara Sirovatka