Day 3 – Springer Mountain to Hawk Mountain
Day three. I woke to 17 degrees, frozen pants, hoodie, gloves and something or everything in my water filtration system. The mice found their way to the only food I had left in my backpack. I left it in a mesh shoulder strap bag. Fortunately, the damage was minimal. Below is a picture from my sleeping bag in the shelter.
I put my frozen clothes on over my base layers and they were thawed and dry in no time. Visit the privy, repack, and finished my oatmeal. It did not seem that many of the hikers had breakfast with the exception of a protein shake. I hit the trail a little after 8:30 a.m.
At this point I am pretty happy with my sleep gear. I used my tent footprint, Klymit inflatable mattress, a Marmot 15-degree sleeping bag, Sea to Summit silk liner ,and favorite Nemo Filli Pillow. I also have sock liners, wool socks, base layer top and bottom, outer layer top and bottom, gloves, and a hat.
As I headed to Hawk Mountain I passed a trail maintenance crew and a couple day hiking because there was none in a section I was headed into. I think everyone I pass wants me to finish this thing or I’m delirious, but it’s early so I’ll go with the former.
Nothing too special about the hike in, but I am realizing that trekking poles are an absolute necessity to me as they keep me from falling and help me up the hills.
Arriving at Hawk Mountain Shelter, I run into Chelsea, a ridgerunner. Ridgerunners work from February to May providing information, training on trail etiquette, and cleaning up after those who do not clean up after themselves. Great job, Chelsea!
It’s important to note here that the shelters are set up about eight miles apart in Georgia and I am done hiking at 2:30 p.m. I will be adding mileage or time going forward.
Early enough to get a spot in the shelter, which because of the snoring and despite my earplugs is not always a great thing.
I do not know where I am stopping tomorrow, but it will not be at 2:30 p.m.
Day three I learned that sometimes sleeping with your filtration system is not always enough to keep it from freezing. Going forward, under 20 degrees, I’ll keep it on my body. I used a hand warmer to thaw it. I am also sleeping on my pants and hoodie and have had my shoes and socks in the foot of my sleeping bag.
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