End Of The Line
We made it! We had terrific weather during our final two days, and Sideways, Spokes and I cruised up Springer Mountain (plus 9 additional miles to the visitor center) on my day 150.
Signing the register at the summit:
Day 149 – Neel Gap to Horse Gap (20 miles)
Day 150 – Horse Gap to Springer Mountain and Amicolola Visitors Center (19 miles)
The Final Day
As we approached the summit, Sideways had us choose and play a song thought appropriate for our hike. We had “Hit me with your best shot” by Pat Benetar, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, and “You only get what you give” by New Radicals; all very appropriate. Honorable mentions were ” End of the line” by the Traveling Wilburys and “America, the beautiful” by Ray Charles.
When we got to the official summit, there were about a dozen day hikers. They were all impressed with our achievement and gave us some much appreciated congratulations. After all the photo ops, we headed down the trail to the Amicalola Visitor Center. On the way, we passed the highest waterfall in Georgia.
Following more photos at the visitor center, we headed for a steak dinner that we’d been talking about and drooling over for weeks. We enjoyed it so much, nobody thought about getting a photo.
From there, we all scrambled to get to trains and busses for some midnight travel. I’ve been uncomfortable frequently on the trail, and that bus ride ranks right up there. But it did get me to my destination and a visit with my grandkids.
We did hike for two days so feel obligated to provide a couple trail photos.
Check out this balance-rock. In the second photo, note the two small points on which it’s resting and the gap in the middle.
And, of course, the view from Springer Mountain.
I’d Like to Thank the Academy…
First, I want to thank my wife, who held down the fort during my five month hiatus. I’ve missed her terribly, though I may not have always expressed it.
I’d like to thank everyone I’ve hiked with, especially Spokes, Sideways and NatGeo.
Thanks to all the trail volunteers and everyone who provides trail magic. A few minutes of kindness are discussed and savored for hours on the trail.
Thanks to all the hostel owners and managers and the shuttle drivers, all who truly are there to help the hikers.
Finally, thanks to everyone who read and enjoyed my blog. I suspect you’re tired of mountain photos, but the real thing never loses it’s appeal. Special thanks to Carol, Pat and theTentman for your multiple comments.
Another great question. I don’t think I’ll be doing anything like the AT. I’m thinking about a canoe trip down the Connecticut River; from its source in New Hampshire near Canada down to Long Island Sound. It would take about 10 days.
Another adventure I need to research would be hiking the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile pilgrimage through Spain. It’s over 1000 years old, is mostly road walking from town to town, and would provide a great international perspective.
I can’t wait to see what it will be.
Thanks for listening.
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