Sunday, May 13, 2001

day 1, Springer S, GA

Start: Approach Trail, Amicalola State Park
End: Springer Shelter
Miles:  8.5 today (8.4 approach trail, 0.1 AT)

The arch marks not the start of the AT, but the start of the hike!

My first real day of hiking! Booyaa! Got off the train at Gainesville, then took a taxi to Amicalola State Park. I've seen it spelled "Amicola" and "Amicalola", so... I don't know. I signed in at the front desk (I was the first of the day). Saw that 4 thru-hikers started yesterday. After filling up the canteens my pack weighed 48-49 pounds, way over my goal of 40 (let alone the eventual 35). I snapped a picture of the "front gate" and headed out.

At Springer's summit.

After about an hour or so, I caught up with Mark (I think that was his name). He looked to be at least 40, very overweight, going really slow. Somehow he couldn't keep his pack on his shoulders. I helped him get going. Turned out he had a 60 lb pack and had spent the previous night on the approach trail. He was out of water so I gave him some. When I started walking, I couldn't see him after 2 minutes. I hope he does OK, he's going to have a tough time.

I have no idea what I'm doing.  Hikers use big sticks, right?

First white blaze!

Got to the Springer summit, took some pictures, nothing too special there. I'm staying at the Springer shelter tonight with at least 6 other people. Oh, and really great weather today. 70 degrees and no clouds.

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