This is the day we actually get to the trail head. I had to get up around 2:30am because the tent pole on my side had fallen down on me. Not surprising considering this was actually the first time I had set the tent up outside for actual use. The full moon had the whole forrest lit up. I crawled back in the tent, put on clean socks to warm my feet and fell back asleep.
We awoke a little after 7 and got all packed up and ready to hike shortly after 9am. We had not gone more than a half mile when we came across the shelter that Claus, and everyone else had apparently stayed at the night before. It looked like an oasis with flat ground, spring fed water, and a sign that pointed the direction to a privy. What more could a person need.
We See A White Blaze
The hike up to the southern terminus of the trail was hard. The disappointment from the hard first day had taken a toll on us. Then it happened. All at once we walked up to a crowd that was standing together in what seemed the middle of nowhere. Random everyday people. Two rocks had plaques on them signifying the start of the trail. One of the plaques had a white blaze right beside it. We had finally reached the start of the trail at 1pm on April 7th.
The other rock had a metal door on the side that protected a signin journal that was nothing more than a regular paper notebook. I took it out and scribbled a quote from Buddha and then printed our names.
No one can save us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.-Buddha
I don’t believe Rebekah or I need saving from anything bad in our lives but it seemed appropriate for the moment. Richel was there and said Claus and her had stayed in the shelter area the night before.
My First Privy
After the first mile on the trail we came to the parking lot that Rebekah originally wanted to start from. A short distance more and we stopped at a shelter to eat lunch. That is where I got my first privy experience. When I thought of a privy I envisioned something resembling a public restroom. When the lid would be lifted there would be concrete container in the ground to catch whatever. That’s not what I found.
A privy is a wood platform built on some 4×4 posts that suspend the commode floor over the ground. The bottom is encased in chicken wire for ease of ventilation; and viewing, so look at your own peril. Add a few wood walls and viola; a privy.
Hawk Mtn Shelter
After lunch we made the long walk to Hawk Mtn campground. I didn’t think we would make it but after stopping short the day before we were not going to be denied. 10.2 total miles with 7.4 being on the actual AT.
Hawk campground was awesome. 30 tent sights. A couple greeters were staying on site 1 who gave us the rundown. We stayed on site 16 because it reminded us of our daughter who wore that jersey number for most of her hockey career through her school years. Sunny Hedgehog (Claus) and Richel had sights. 8:45 bedtime right after darkness took over. Flat sight and my sleeping pad feels amazing. The next three days are supposed to be tough.
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