To Approach or Not to Approach…
I think I’m going to have to have the unpopular opinion and be a strong advocate for the Approach Trail. There’s something about looking at those stairs leading you alongside this gorgeous waterfall and then that feeling when you walk up that last step. Sure it sucks carrying 34lbs up 600+ stairs, but there’s such a feeling of accomplishment. The best part was I had my dad to walk all the stairs with me.
At the top, my Mom and sister met us where I had the hardest goodbyes yet. Walking away and on to finish the approach I had the weirdest feelings going through my head. First, it hit me that it was just me and the woods and God for the next few months.
Second, I think it was the first time it felt real. For years I had dreamed of this hike. And then over the last 7 months, I had planned for hours a day. And now the day was actually here.
After all the crazy emotions and nerves settled over the next few miles I was able to enjoy the climb. I got to meet so many fun people as I passed them or they passed me or we just leapfrogged back and forth.
I got to Springer Mountain. I couldn’t believe I was here…my first white blaze, signing the book, the gathering of hikers taking pictures as you see the glimpse of adventure in their eyes. I stopped for the night not too long after at Springer Mountain shelter. It was about 3:30 so I had plenty of time to set up camp and take a quick little nap before dinner.
Dinner was some delicious broccoli and chicken-flavored noodles. The water source here was really nice so it was an easy fill-up. I think filtering water is my new favorite thing. There is something so peaceful about filtering your water while listening to running water beside you.
Hoping to get an early start tomorrow and then will be listening to the legs on when they want me to stop.
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