Mile 0.0 – Mile 31.7

Mile 2.7

First off, I do realize mile 2.7 isn’t impressive at all. BUT – Jess and I actually hiked 11.5 the first day and almost all of it was uphill. We started at the approach trail climbed 606 stairs to the top of the falls, continued up to Springer Mountain, took a break at Springer Mountain Shelter, and set up camp just a tenth of a mile away from Stover Creek Shelter. The creek is 10 paces away from my tent right now. A pretty prime spot completely surrounded by rhododendron. 

Today I heard an owl, saw my first white blaze, encountered several butterflies, signed in my first trail log, met some new people, walked over and on beautiful glistening rocks constantly which I’m pretty positive was mica and made the approach trail feel like a magical sparkly road, and the weather couldn’t have been better. Pretty solid first day.

Also, today was pretty difficult. I’m going to be real sore tomorrow and I have a slight sunburn. Just popped two Advil and am now hitting the sack at 8:43. So glad Jess is here. 

Mile 15.8

I wasnt as sore as I’d thought I would be. Summited 3 mountains today. I learned that it’s hard going up but harder going down. 
Today I heard AND I saw an owl. It was beautiful. 

We’re tenting at Gooch Mt Shelter with about 25 others. Jess and I made beans and rice for dinner. It was satisfying. 

Mile 24.3

Another 2 mountains down. Big Cedar Mountain had a pretty great view. I felt that the climb paid off. 

Something today that I thought was pretty cool – I have been missing a tent stake since day 1. Today while we were setting up my tent on a ridge, I knocked a couple leaves over and there was a single tent stake. I know it’s a cheesy and maybe overused saying “the trail provides” but I mean , it was pretty great. 

Tomorrow is Jess’s last day with me. We’ll be summiting Blood Mountain which will be a good one. A good sweaty tough one. It’ll be about a 5 mile 1500 foot climb from Lance Creek (where we are now) and a mile and a half down to Neel Gap.

I guess norovirus has been going around from Lance Creek to Neel Gap. Norovirus is a nasty stomach bug that I’d care not to have. We ended up getting the news a few miles back and filled up every water bottle and water bladder we had. Carrying the extra weight sucked but I’d do that over liquid poops and yacking for 3 days straight. 

I’m glad we took an easier day today. The sun was beating down hard all day and Jess’s blisters are seriously scary looking.

Mile 31.7

Made it up Blood Mountain and to Neel Gap. We got an earlier start today since I knew it might be nice to relax this afternoon and evening. I honestly was surprised the climb wasn’t as hard as I thought. I either psyched myself out by the look of the elevation climb in my guide book or maybe I’m in a little better shape. Either way, the view was so pretty. 

Jess and I are finally showering and going to grab a beer before she heads out. So glad she’s been with me these first 4 days. A pretty great bud. 

Oh, and I’m doing some laundry. I smell…not all that great.
Random thought – I have heard people say Neel Gap and Neels Gap. But which one is correct? The sign at Mountain Crossings says Neel.

End of Day 4.

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Comments 11

  • D : Apr 13th


  • Lauren : Apr 14th

    Solid start!

  • Clara : Apr 14th

    Yay yay yay! You look great, you’re doing great, those views! Looking forward to the next update.

  • Rebecca tompkins : Apr 14th

    U rock those mountains girl. Keep journaling. Uhmazing

  • Maren : Apr 15th

    Way to go, Anna!! I’m so glad Jess is there with you. Can’t wait to read more updates. Love you!

  • Kerry : Apr 16th

    I’m glad you got a good start to the trip! I love the photos ๐Ÿ™‚ and I’m glad that little tent stake showed up!

  • Ralph Cutcher : Apr 19th

    Keep rocking Anna! Stay away from bear cubs. What a great adventure.

    • Anna Zimmerman : Apr 20th

      Thanks, Mr. C! I appreciate you reading and your support.

  • Jess : Apr 20th

    Oh, yeah, Neels Gap?

  • Jess : Apr 20th


  • kelly frye : Dec 21st

    Hello Anna Z. I just listened to your podcast with Andre and now checking out your blog. Can’t wait to finish it. Glad to hear all is well with you. Merry Christmas. :0)


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