Giddy To Go: DeepEnd on The AT!

How one trail will always lead you to another! 

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

You would be surprised by the hoops some hikers have to go through to get to a terminus. I’ve been very lucky again to be brought to the start of my next trek by familiar faces, my grandparents! This isn’t my first thru-hike, but this is my first East Coast exploration!

I think a little introduction & context is in order before I start “keeping it real & in the loop” with what’s going on!

Hi there! My name is Maddi, while DeepEnd is my trial name. I got my name because my first long hike was the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) last summer.

Celebrating my victorious trek from Canada to Mexico!

I am currently hiking northbound on the AT (Appalachian Trail)!

Day 1: Amicalola Falls             

Today’s the day! My first steps to truly exploring the east coast, start today! Met my grandparents for breakfast at the hotel & soon enough we were on our way to the trailhead! Papa and Grandma took Sprout & me first, to the visitor center to register for 9 am. How cool it is to have a plastic emblem hanging off my pack!

We then proceeded to have our pictures under the “famous arch”. It was hard not to think of all that stood before me when I was under it. They snapped some pictures because enough it was the last hug from my grandparents for a little while & we were off!

Sprout & DeepEnd are off to Springer Mountain!

Sprout & I were not told at the visitors center that the beginning of the approach trail was closed. We had to follow the reroute to link us up to the trail! The almost 8 miles to Springer Mountain weren’t terrible, but got a grasp quickly of what exactly I signed up for! First thing I saw were many visitors & even my first AT shelter! Absolutely no rain for us today, although the fog & humidity was intense at times in the direct sun! I’m certainly not the type to sugarcoat anything, but overall it was a really good day!

A full day of hiking on the first day felt oh, so satisfying! Sprout & I made camp tonight at Cooper Pass & called it a night under the stars! Did it take me an embarrassingly long time to set up my tent because of rocks? Yes. Yes, I did. Finishing off our first day with 21 miles hiked!

Day 2: Cooper Gap to Neels Gap Mountain Crossings & Beyond

We woke up early on a mission. At least I did. I need to do 18 miles in 9 hours. Seems quite comical to someone who’s done either one if not both of the other long trails, but AT people will know that’s a little bit of a challenge! The reason for the sense of urgency because I needed to purchase my first AT stickers & soda from Neel’s Gap!

My first sticker spoil of the trail!

There certainly weren’t many breaks taken throughout the day even with another day of sunshine and the occasional cloud. I made it to Neel’s Gap with 10 minutes to spare to quickly purchase two stickers, and a cold soda to then find Sprout sitting outside. We weren’t in any rush to leave, but knew we wanted to do more miles. My body appreciated taking the pack and shoes off while we strategized. We ended up the day with 23 miles hiked. More than we were planning on it, but our campsite options were full!

Another mossy tree with the white blaze.

So, one last climb for the day & ended with a lovely big campsite at the bottom of the descent. By the end of the day, my hips were pretty tight & I felt the bruises on my collarbones pretty well by now. It’s hard not to smile with every new ache & pain because it’s another reminder I’m out here. I’m out here working hard for my goal, and that feels pretty dang good! Cold-soaked rice and refried beans for dinner, a personal favorite of mine, then swiftly to bed! I’m beat!

Until next update, happy trails!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?