I made it out for my first official day on the trail. It was quite a long hike, but I earned that summit! I’m staying at the Springer Mountain shelter tonight. I did 9 miles but only 0.2 officially count. Today was a lot of up (for the start). I’m thoroughly worn out but the next few days should be easier. I might aim for the Gooch Gap shelter tomorrow. If I come short of that I might stay in Hawk Mtn.
Here is the starting archway. No one was around to snap a pic:
I met lots of cool people at Hiker Hostel. I highly recommend a night there before hitting the trail. They told me that people headed out with 60 lbs packs was a daily occurrence. I felt OK with 34, a big chunk of that was 100 oz bladder with water. I know many hikers say only a liter at a time, but I didn’t have to schlep up and down those nefarious looking “0.2 Miles to spring”.
The people so far have been great. I met Avery who is starting his 4th attempt, Emily from Washington, Doug from NH, Kenny (forgetting where) , Matt and Tom from STL, and two Germans that met at the airport and were randomly starting today at the same time. John from Germany was also there.
I met a few more on the trail, Emily from NY, “Rock” from Fl, Luke, and several others.
Here is me at the top of Springer:
In all, it was a great way to celebrate turning 30. More updates further down the trail.