Starting With A NEGATIVE 8.6 Miles
A what? How do you start with a negative day? Did you start at the bottom of Amicalola Falls and you are calling it a negative? Nope. I never saw the falls. Well, those falls, anyway. Truly, it was a negative day. I’d love to say I was kidding, but I wasn’t.
How does one start with a negative day?Well, it starts when your husband offers to drop you off at the trail head on Springer. He wanted to drop me off, rather than catching the shuttle at the Hiker Hostel. Seriously, people, just take the shuttle. We were short on time because he had to get back to Atlanta to catch a flight home. It was very foggy, like spooky movie foggy. It’s quite the drive up those forest roads and he was getting quite worried. Finally, I just looked on the map and told him to drop me off at a trail head. To be honest, I knew it was the wrong one, but I didn’t want him to miss his flight (he did anyway!). So, he dropped me off at Hightower Gap. At the time, I just didn’t have the heart to tell him it was the wrong place. If you’re looking at the map, Hightower Gap is 8.6 miles away from Springer. Yep, Day 1 was spent hiking from Hightower Gap to Springer.
After the fog lifted, it was a lovely day. I enjoyed the hike. I was finally on the trail and I didn’t care which direction I was headed. My 20 year dream was starting to come true. Woot! Hiking by streams and through magnolia groves was just what I needed. I stopped to eat lunch by Long Creek Falls, truly a wonderful place to have a lunch. I hiked up to Springer and got my obligatory pictures on top. I even took a picture of the Springer parking area, just so my husband could see where he was supposed to drop me off when I told him what really happened.
It was quite funny telling the story along the way as I passed people from the hostel the previous night. They kept asking me if I knew I was going in the wrong direction. My story gave quite the chuckle to anyone I passed. I was glad to provide comedic relief, because you have to laugh. I just couldn’t start my first day without seeing the top of Springer.
I spent the night at Springer Shelter with some really nice hikers. It was quite the mixed bag of Spring Breakers, section hikers and thru-hikers starting out. I had a nice chat with Mike and Susan (007). Sisu was the ridge runner at the Shelter that night, and I think he had quite a good laugh at my folly. There was the nicest group of the college boys staying in the shelter that night, they kept calling me ma’am no matter how many times I asked them to stop. Your mommas raised you right!
I knew I was going to hike the same trail, in the other direction the next morning, but I didn’t care. How many of us take the time to see where we’ve been and how far we’ve come? Take the time to see things from the other direction once in a while, you won’t regret it. I didn’t.
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.