Day 1 on the AT north to Maine
[This is my brief journal entry for my first day on the Appalachian Trail. In and of itself, it isn't much. At the end, however, is a link to the remaining 6.5 months of life on the trail. I'm told it is an entertaining read. Honestly I'm a bit embarassed by it and encourage you to read something like my John Muir or Long Trail thruhike journals instead or in addition. Find them in my profile.]
This campsite is the perfect conclusion to an awesome day. First, I woke to discover that I had a new arrival during the night. A solo hiker pitched his Eureka near me. I guess that means I picked a nice spot. Although he seemed like a friendly guy, we didn't speak too much as he was hurrying to break camp and I was busy trying to eat an entire Chicken Helper w/12 oz of chunk chicken added. To make a long story short, he beat me to Springer by about an hour even though I became a man possessed once the Chicken Helper kicked in around Black Mountain.
The couple I saw from the previous night passed by going southbound and I exchanged greetings with two more hikers coming down from Springer Mountain. I didn't know it was Springer at the time. I kept thinking how disappointed I would be if I found I had another mountain yet to climb before the start of the AT.
Fortunately, the mountain was indeed Springer and I took a few pictures and looked at the view. I noticed that familiar Eureka tent pitched at the summit so I wandered over and talked with him for a little and he helped me with a picture next to the plaque.
I didn't forget to read and sign the register before I left the summit. There were some funny entries therein and I discovered that the summit was quite a popular place Dec 30-Jan 2. Since I was originally supposed to make the top of Springer Dec 31st before I got sick and postponed my trip; I was a little bummed. There were a few thru hiker entries too.
The next five miles to my present position went quickly. I'd like to say it is because I am such a good hiker, but in reality all but the last mile were mostly downhill. I was tempted to keep going since I appeared to have plenty of daylight left(my watch isn't working)and I felt strong. When I stopped at Long Creek Falls I knew I found my camping spot though. The sky is clear again so I'm sleeping in a little valley under the stars about 30 feet from a sizable waterfall. I took a few pictures that maybe my transcriber will put online (hint, hint). The water is clear and plentiful here. I celebrated with 4 cups of an excellent vegetable soup for which I carried in canned tomato sauce and mixed some Tang for tomorrow. I may finish the night with a cigar from a certain country that shall remain nameless.
Today's hiking was fairly easy. There were a couple steep spots on Springer but nothing very rough. I have been able to find lots of water, too. In fact I have been able to gather it 1-2 quarts at a time as I need it. It's nice to be able to carry only the water I need in my sipper. I did manage to lose a bandana at one of the springs though, so I'll have to buy another one at Walaysi-Yi when I get there. I was using the bandana over the mouth of my water bottle to keep leaf particles and such out. Now I'm using one of my fleece glove liners.
That's all for now.
Continue with my AT journal
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