March 12, 2000

between horse gap & cooper gap, ga 10 Miles Hiked Today 10 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Ice on the trees at Springer MountainWoke up and rode to Springer Mountain. By the time we got there at 11:15, it was 27 degrees. Ice was on the trees between the parking lot and the summit. I couldn't believe I was finally here was running through my mind the whole way up. What a privilege! Met a few nice folks, including a trail maintainer from the Georgia ATC. Everyone has wished me well.

Long Creek FallsThe hike today was beautiful. Sunny, highs around 45 degrees and many springs and plant life. Had lunch next to Long Creek waterfalls. I hiked for awhile with two thru-hikers, Joel and Frog. Later, they stopped to eat and I continued, ending the day hiking with Camo and his wife, also thru-hikers. The first two are about 30 and the second two about 60. How cool.

My campsite is nice and flat and has several fallen trees, which are nice for cooking next to and blocking winds. At 6:45pm it is 28 degrees and windy.

Appalachain Trail markerReflecting on the day, one thing I have already begun to experience is the return to basics hikers go through. "How far to shelter?"  "How much food do you have?" "Do you know where there is water?" Tonight I gave 2 guys about 5 cups of water because they were out. They had "planned on finding more of it."

I have also come to realize I need specific goals. As I walked I figured how far I wanted to go today, averages for the next few weeks, and where I would go into town the first 6 times. It helps me to pace myself so that I don't run out of food or get to town on a Sunday when stores and the P.O. is closed.

Anyway, so far, so good. Only 2,150 more miles!

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