And We’re Off!

Day 0 was a whirlwind. I decided to call our first day ‘Day 0’ because we didn’t summit Springer Mountain but we did start the Approach Trail.

Day 0: (Approach: 1,990ft ascent, 4.4 mi)

We made it to basecamp after getting a ride from my house to the trailhead from family. Perks of living close to the southern terminus. When we got to basecamp we were asked to weigh our gear and sign in. My beginning pack weight with food and water: 34.6lbs. I had weighed it at 36lbs at home the night before but wasn’t going to complain about the difference! I shuffled our group sign in order to get assigned a number I liked: 1810.

Jan led us through a quick refresher on leave no trace and we were off! First, backtracking to the arch for the classic start pictures, then over to the stairs.

I have done the entire Approach Trail on multiple occasions so I knew what to expect, but that didn’t make the stairs to the top of the falls any easier. My gym had a challenge (partially in honor of me leaving for my hike) to complete 500 box step ups as quickly as possible carrying as much weight as possible. Obviously I wanted to participate, so I did the stupidest thing you could do to start a 6-month hike and ran up the first 500 stairs as quickly as I could. Nine minutes later I was taking full advantage of the benches along the staircase after completing the challenge.

We ate lunch at the top of the falls. My dad and I have plenty of backpacking trips under our belts and quickly got to work warming up water. I looked over and saw my boyfriend struggling to get his water going. He had told me he had used his jetboil on a prior camping trip, but I quickly started asking more questions about that experience. After he got it put together and lit, I knew had to document the intense concentration the entire ordeal was taking. He did eventually figure it out, but only after boiling out all the water and having to start over with new water.

After lunch (yes, all of us did eventually get food), we made our way leisurely up the trail. After about 4 miles we found an open area and decided to quit for the day. We weren’t tired, but didn’t want to push ourselves on the first day. We are trying to avoid the busyness of the shelters at the beginning of the trail and prefer to sleep in our tents anyways.

So far so good, we made it through day zero still alive. But there’s always tomorrow.

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Comments 3

  • Denis Thibodeau : Apr 4th

    Good luck on your hike.

  • Ann : Apr 4th

    Thinking about you!!! Looking forward to sharing in your journey through your posts. See you in 6 months.

  • James Widmayer : Apr 5th

    You go Girl! The view has to be awesome and visiting with the Animals, must be out of this world! Be Safe and enjoy!


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