The Road to Springer is NOT Always Smooth

I imagine that for everyone, the last 72 hours before making it to the terminus of a long trail is fraught with decisions, packing, and some doubts. My final 72 hours before making it to Springer Mountain were no different.

72 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia – 5 p.m. Friday

I have packed my bag and said my ‘Love you’s’ and ‘Goodbyes’ to most of my family and friends. But there is still one more critically important thing to do before leaving Maine. I pack my overnight bag and hit the road. One last Maine adventure before beginning my long walk home. My Final Skiing Day!

57 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia – 8 a.m. Saturday

My ski boots are on. They hurt. I have been wearing my hiking boots for the last two weeks in preparation for the journey ahead. My feet are no longer in skiing shape. I am still going to ski one last day this season, the pull is just too strong. It is a gorgeous day to be skiing on Sugarloaf. The conditions are great, it snows for a few brief minutes, and I get some great views of the Bigelows. The same Bigelow Mountains that I will be hiking across in a few months time.

47 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia

What am I doing? What am I thinking? Why would I even think I could do this?

35 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia – 6 a.m. Sunday

My bag is packed. I have done my best to adhere to all of the TSA’s rules and regulations. Hopefully, they will not feel the need to inspect my bag. My home for the next few months has been checked and I will see it again once I get to Atlanta. Now I need to get through the next two flights. Crazy to thing that yesterday I was skiing and tomorrow I will be hiking but today, I am just sitting.

28 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia

It took nearly an hour to get the rental car. That was trying. This is one of the MANY reasons why I am immensely grateful that my dad was able to come down with me to Georgia. Plus, he can drive in the traffic.

27 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia

What is Google Maps saying? Stay in the second lane from the right to take the next exit. Well that did not work. I guess we will just take the next exit to get to REI. No big deal, every journey has it’s re-routes. Heading back towards REI now. There is this strange thudding coming from the back left tire. We stop and check the car. Nothing looks wrong. We continue on. The thudding increases. Sounds pretty bad. It stops. Okay, I guess we are fine. Before we can fully feel the relief, the low tire pressure light comes on.

Oh, no.

Did you know that there is a Goodyear within 2 miles of REI? After about an hour we got the tire replaced and were back on our way.

24 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia – 5 p.m. Sunday

After that faithful start, we have made it to Amicalola Falls State Park. Checking into the lodge was a breeze. Finding dinner, water bottles, and a lighter in town is simple after the last 48 hours of adventure. Now, I am climbing the stairs. I figure starting tonight will make tomorrow easier (really it was my dad’s idea, Go Dads!). As I finish, Dad and I grab our Mexican food and head outside to enjoy the sunset. Good food and a beautiful view.

12 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia – 5 a.m. Saturday

It is really early and I cannot fall back asleep. The sun is not even peaking over the horizon yet. I am not used to being so far inland. My dad and I got up and walked around to enjoy the sunrise.

9 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia

I just finished checking in at the Appalachian Trail Base camp. My bag weights 37 pounds with food and water. I am nervously picking at my breakfast before we head to the trailhead. My dad and I both tear up at my mom’s Facebook post.

7 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia

My dad hiked with me for a while but now it is time to part ways. More tears. More promises to stay safe. More hugs. I am on my own.

2 hours to Springer Mountain, Georgia

What was I thinking? This pack is heavy. I am exhausted and my hip hurts on the uphills. Why did I think this was a good idea? Am I even going to make it to Springer Mountain tonight?

Top of Springer Mountain, Georgia

I am here. I made it. I am still alone. This is just the first steps in this crazy journey. I take the obligatory pictures and move along to the shelter. The Official Appalachian Trail has just begun.


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.

Comments 1

  • Sarah : May 19th

    You can do this! Look forward to reading about your adventures.


What Do You Think?