Springer mountain to hawk mountain shelter.
Wow. I’ve said about 50 times “I’m on the Appalachian trail” because it just doesn’t feel real yet. We skipped the approach trail after getting our hiker tags at Amicolola State Park. I’m hiker number 2816 heading north to Maine. They have you weigh your pack and mine came in at 24 lbs with three days of food and 2 liters of water. It felt much heavier than that, it will take some adjusting carrying it every day. Mom drove us to the Springer mountain parking lot on some… interesting roads. They were all forest service roads and one was called “winding stair gap road” if that gives you an idea of how windy, narrow, and guardrail-less it was (sorry mom). Mom hiked with us southbound on the AT for the mile up to Springer mountain, the southern terminus, and then we turned around and start north! We stuffed up on snacks at the car and said our goodbyes before continuing on.
The AT is called “the green tunnel” and we see why even on the first day. We were walking through massive amounts of rhododendron bushes (sadly not in blume yet) but everything is just so GREEN. It’s refreshing to see after winter in NH. We only ran into two other thru hikers today and didn’t talk much with them. We got to hawk mountain shelter pretty early today because we didn’t want to get too ambitious on day one and stuck to 9 miles.
I’m feeling good and so excited for whatever lies ahead, day 1 done!
Hawk mountain shelter to Lance Creek Restoration
I woke up in a lake this morning because of the rain last night, the bottom of my tent completely wetted out and I was sleeping (well trying to sleep) in water. We got packed up and started hiking in the rain. The weather completely cleared up mid morning and we were feeling good. We saw an owl, gopher, lots of little birds, a hawk, and some centipedes. There are loads of flowers along the trail which is beautiful. I feel a blister forming on my two toes next to my big toe which is not too great. I ended up getting sick tonight and I’m not sure why, but it was certainly not fun. I’m glad there won’t be any rain for a bit now.
Lance Creek Restoration to Whitley Gap Shelter
Today kicked my butt. I did not mean to hike this many miles right off the bat. That blister has absolutely developed into a large one and my appetite isn’t the greatest. I’ve heard it takes about a week for your body and stomach to get used to the trail. We had a great morning hiking over blood mountain and met our first dog thru hiker named sassy! She was adorable and very excited to be out there. Then we went down into neel gap where the mountain crossings store is to get a resupply for the next 40 miles to hostel around the bend. I’m very excited for that hostel because that will be 5-6 days on trail with no shower or laundry. I’m starting to smell myself already. After we left mountain crossings we had a lot of elevation gain and loss and when we got to the shelter sign we realized the shelter was 1.2 miles off the trail (straight downhill). That will be a rude awakening in the morning. After a tough day today I’m hoping tomorrow will be better.
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I’m guessing you guys did your research but a trial by fire is essential for your gear and especially your footwear. Starting with blisters? Preventable. What’s not are the tick borne illnesses and the Noro that’s prevalent in filthy shelters and hostels. The AT is starting to look like Trader Joe’s on a Saturday. Good luck.
Love reading about your adventures!! I’m a huge fans of Kevin and hiking! Did the NH48 and NE67 with some HH and 52WAV. Would love to do the AT but enjoy experiencing it through you guys! Stay dry, Vaseline those feet and keep moving!! Proud of you guys!!!! XO
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