This post is part of a series that was originally written during our 2012 section hike on the AT. To read all of the entries, click here.
Originally written: 4/7/12
Springer Mountain, GA (approach trail plus mile 0.2)
This morning I woke up feeling rested and not as afraid as I was last night. I was kind of numb and just going through the motions of packing my bag, but not quite excited or anxious yet. I felt it a little as we pulled into the parking lot, but it was so jammed with weekend hikers that I was hit with a sensory overload and didn't have a chance to focus on being nervous.
Steve, Lauren and Darius dropped us off and documented the whole start of our hike, taking pictures at Amicalola State Park. My pack weighed about 36 lbs and Serial's was right around 34. Not bad, but I'll definitely be conscious of all future food choices and how much water I really need to carry... it all adds up.
I've always heard that the Approach Trail is tough and I have to agree. The stairs up the falls are brutal, there are 600, and full of folks. Everyone wanted to love on Rooney which was fun. People thought his pack was funny and cute.
Once we got past the falls, and on to the trail, it was nice. Way less people and more our style. The trail was just a lot of up and down that eventually landed us at Black Gap Shelter, right before Springer. We stopped to socialize with a few people that were set up there for the night, then we had a snack and moved on to Springer.
The 1.5 miles from the shelter to Springer was tough. I wasn't feeling very hungry today and only ate the minimum snacks I needed so I bonked and really struggled to get to the summit. Serial pushed on ahead and got there first and I heard him cheer when he made it there which gave me the final boost I needed. It felt weird to put that much hiking and work into today and only then just be starting the actual AT.
We hiked the short and easy .2 miles to the next shelter for dinner and camp. Serial knew 2 people here from past years hiking and we met 6 or 7 more. Everyone is nice and happy to be out on the trail.
I'm beat and ready for bed. I may have found a trail name, but will have to see if it sticks.