Appalachian Trail

Snapshot Sad to Go Home

Carolyn, trail name Snapshot, has decided to come off the Appalachian Trail and postpone her attempt to thru-hike the trail from Georgia to Maine. It was a hard and sad, heartfelt decision. I have modified her online journal but tried to use her own words to explain her heart.

Snapshot

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

“I’m still trying to process all my feelings. The reality of remaining on trail was just not possible. Despite the enormous hurt in my heart, my head knows it was the right and responsible thing to do….. “

“The Covid-19 crisis has currently changed the world. Every single person has been affected by this pandemic. This is not just about me.  It’s a scary time for all of us, as these waters are uncharted and so unpredictable.” 

“My thoughts go to all of the health care workers putting their lives in danger. I think of all the small business that were forced to close, whose livelihood depends on customers and clients. I feel for all of the kids whose school year has been cut short and those once- in-a -lifetime events: proms, graduations, class trips have all been canceled. I’m sad for of all the couples who won’t be able to hold their dream weddings. I’m sad for all the elderly who live alone and are now evermore isolated.  And I cry for all who have died and those who have lost loved ones due to this horrible virus.  So much sadness, hurt and disappointment.”   

“Though, I realize not being able to continue my journey of walking through the woods, is minor and insignificant with all that humanity is dealing with, truth is, I can’t help feeling sorry for myself.”

“….for the first few days, the biggest concern was the availability of resupplies and support on trail. Slowly, we started getting word that stores, restaurants, hostels and shuttles were beginning to close. Support that hikers rely on was becoming limited and yet, I still wanted to push on, not wanting, or ready, to believe that my thru-hike could realistically be over.” 

“Word continued to come in with more and more closures and cancellations. The NOC closed, the ATC Headquarters closed, Fontana Damn Lodge closed. At first, they closed the Smokey Mt National Park to everything but foot traffic but within days, it was shut down to that also, leaving no way to hike that section of the trail. Maryland and New Jersey closed all shelters and privies on the AT indefinitely. Trail Days in Damascus was cancelled….”

“The ATC was asking us to comply with their request to leave the trail.  For them to ask this of us was huge. The trail is what they are all about. Promoting the trail is what they do so this was not something to take lightly. We as hikers need to come into the small towns along the trail to resupply, regroup and recharge by getting a hot shower, washing our clothes, eating a hot and hearty meal, etc.  Possibly exposing those we come in contact within town, or town folk unknowingly exposing us, would potentially spread the virus.”

“For now, I’ll take one day at a time and find gratitude in knowing my family members are all healthy. I will continue to hold on to hope that I will, when this is all over, return to the trail that has, for a long time, held a huge part of my heart.”

Snapshot ~

I hope that Snapshot and the rest of the thru-hikers will be able to get back on the trail before the hiking season passes them by – maybe a flip-flop or a SOBO (southbound) adventure would still be possible. The most important thing right now is to be safe and if necessary, plan for another day/year.

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, COVID-19, Fontana Dam, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Snapshot, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nimble Off the Appalachian Trail For a While

Nimble

Friday, March 20, 2020

Jack Spurrier, trail name Nimble, writes from Fontana Dam that he is taking four or five days off the trail due to the Corona Virus. In addition to the virus, he hopes to rest his sore foot and find another pair of more comfortable hiking boots. He is headed home for some TLC but hopes to be back to resume his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

I think the trail towns will begin to close down and food/resupply will more difficult to obtain thus making the hike an even bigger challenge to complete. In my opinion, it will be difficult to return until the virus is contained. The AT is a safe place to hike with lots of open spaces and fresh air, but the congregating in the shelters, hostels, and campsites might make the environment rather risky.

My prayers are with the hikers and the important decisions they will need to make for their safety and the well being of others on the trail.

Nimble Leaving the NOC in North Carolina
Categories: 2020 Hikers, Appalachian Trail, COVID-19, Fontana Dam, Nimble, North Carolina, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

SNAPSHOT Decides to Stay on the AT

It’s been over a week since getting an up-date from Snapshot. On Day 9  (March 14) she had arrived in Hiawassee, Georgia anticipating a rest day (zero=day) on Sunday before continuing her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. A great deal has happened, so let me catch you up on Carolyn’s adventure.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Today’s Miles = 0

Snapshot and her group took a zero in Hiawassee, although she walked a bit. She hiked to the corner store for her morning cup of coffee; then to the Dollar Store to resupply for the next 4 days; then to McDonald’s for a small lunch: a Big Mac, fish sandwich, large fry, and a large coke!

Snapshot’s afternoon was filled with some good rest and updating her journal The group got together for pizza and story-telling in the hotel lobby after which Snapshot returned to her room to repack for her return to the trail on Wednesday.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Today’s Miles = 11.8

Snapshot got a 7:30 am. shuttle ride back to the trailhead. It was raining and the trail was very muddy, but she was excited because she was hoping to cross the state line into North Carolina. Coming off a zero-day, Snapshot felt strong and rested. The first 8 miles went by quickly as she reached the Georgia/North Carolina border.

However, the state of North Carolina greets the thru-hiker with a challenging uphill climb to Courthouse Bald and their destination of Muskrat Shelter. The 11.8-mile rainy day ended at a full shelter, but Snapshot found a spot and was happy to spend a dry night without having to pack up a wet tent in the morning.  

Muskrat Shelter

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Today’s Miles = 12

Snapshot slept well during the night but good night’s sleep was still greeted with more rain. Despite the trail which looked more like a mountain stream, the group managed to complete their hiking goal of 12 miles and Carter Gap Shelter.

Today’s hike took Snapshot over Standing Indian Mountain and just as she reached the top, the rain stopped and the fog lifted, offering up a beautiful view. As the evening arrived and the rain abated, Snapshot pitched her tent with the forecast of clear skies until 9 am.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Today’s Miles = 8.7

Snapshot began the hike today at 9:00 with rain an obvious part of the day. She planned an 8.7-mile day making Long Branch Shelter the destination for the evening.

Word reached the group that the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) was strongly advising thru-hikers to leave the trail in response to COVID-19.  Snapshot records her thoughts, No one in my Tramily including myself, want to leave the trail. We are all happy and healthy out here.  One might think being out here in nature would be the best possible place to be. However, if we choose to stay on trail, we will be faced with limited support and supplies. Already, some of the hostels have temporarily shut down, the NOC is closed and so is the… Conservancy in Harpers Ferry. The other concern is being able to resupply. We are hearing essentials like fuel for our stoves, hand sanitizers, toilet paper and certain foods are becoming scarce. We will be in town tomorrow and will regroup and reassess.  

The group passed the 100-mile marker as they conquered their biggest challenge yet – Albert Mountain.  They arrived early to camp. Long Branch Shelter sleeps 16 and is quite spacious for AT Shelters. Snapshot shared the loft with Salt, Stoneman, Aura, and Rou. Having a roof over our heads and the security of three walls is making all of us very happy. It’s amazing how little time it takes out here to make you appreciate the very simplest of things.

Long Branch Shelter

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Today’s Miles = 7.2

Salt and I were packed up and were on trail by 6:30am. We hiked in the dark until morning broke. At first light we stopped trail side to have breakfast and a cup of coffee. 

Today’s short 7.2-mile trek was designed to end at Winding Stair Gap, and from there, a shuttle ride to Baltimore Jacks Hostel in Franklin N.C. After getting the notice from the ATC, the group decided to spend a couple of days off the trail to discuss the virus and how to best move forward.

In Franklin, the grocery stores and outfitters have remained open. Supplies are plentiful, but all restaurants are closed except for takeout orders. The group was able to eat well and resupply for the trail ahead. 

For now, we have decided to stay on trail for as long as it’s feasible

Friday, March 20, 2020

Today’s Miles = 0    

Snapshot spent the morning putting together my resupply for the next 3 days. The stress of the virus and the whole new sets of logistics in moving forward on the trail took it tole of Snapshot today, Thru-hiking itself is hard,  now we have the added layer of planning days ahead. It’s a minor thing to be worried about with all that’s going on in the world and I recognize how lucky I am even to be out here. Nevertheless, I couldn’t control the tears today. 

Three members of the group decided to stay in town for a few days. Turtle and Snapshot made the decision to go back to the trail and arranged a shuttle for 7:30 am on Saturday. Their six-day plan is: to get to the NOC in three days where I will pick up my resupply box. The NOC is closed, remaining open for package pick up only.  From there we have another three days to Fontana Damn Lodge. The plan is to zero there for a day or two before heading into the Smokies.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Today’s Miles: 11

Turtle and Snapshot left Franklin and were back on the trail by 8:30 am. Her decision to continue on resulted in a peaceful start, Minutes after being on the trail, I could feel the stress releasing. Calm crept back and reclaimed my being. The sun was shining and all was right once again. 

The 11-mile trek was her best day on the trail. She and Turtle hiked at a comfortable pace and talked and laughed as they basked in the sunshine. The view from Wayah Bald was fantastic, Wayah Bald has a vantage point of 5,342 ft. in elevation, located in the Nantahala National Forest. Although the climb was arduous, the payoff left me speechless. We are camping tonight at Wayah Bald Shelter. It’s one of the nicest shelters, with a wonderful view. I look forward [to] waking in the morning and watching the sun rise.

Photo: Muskrat Shelter https://www.cnyhiking.com/ATinNC-BlyGapToUS64.htm

Photo: Long Branch Shelter https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/photos/16822/842690

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, COVID-19, Franklin, North Carolina, Georgia, Hiawassee, Snapshot, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nimble Makes it to Fontana Dam

Nimble, aka Jack Spurrier, started his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on February 28. He is moving slowly through the first few weeks and has arrived at Fontana Dam, North Carolina, on March 19, 2020. Here is a recap over the last few days.

Monday, March 16, 2020 (Day 18 of the hike)

Today’s Miles – 6.7

Nimble’s wife, Deloris, waved good-bye as Jack Spurrier made his way across the bridge over the Nantahala River and began his 5.8-mile climb up to the top of Swim Bald. After a mile of descent, Nimble arrived at Sassafras Gap Shelter – home for the night. The weather provided Nimble with some great views from the summit of Swim Bald of the rugged country and a clear view of the Smokies that lay ahead.

Nimble Leaving the NOC

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Today’s Miles: 8.20

Another rainy morning welcomed the first light of day. Nimble had spent the night in Sassafras Shelter so his gear was dry. He put on his rain jacket and started down the path. He had his sights on Brown Fork Gap Shelter – a 9.1-mile trek – for the day’s destination, but a rather tender left foot ended his journey about a mile short. He set up a stealth camp near Stecoach Gap. Nimble is about 13 miles from Fontana Dam and is planning to make the trip in two days with hopes of arriving at Fontana on Thursday. If he is able to accomplish this goal, he will only be six days beyond his original schedule. Nimble is still optimistic about his hike despite his sore foot, Hope by April I will be able to pick up my pace.

Sassafras Shelter

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Today’s Miles = 10.4

Finally, a good day without rain. The terrain was filled with some major boulders to navigate, including an area called Jacob’s Ladder. Nimble’s left foot is still causing some problems so he stopped short of Fontana Dam, making a short 3-4 miles walk tomorrow. He is still pleased with his effort today recognizing that the next 8 to 10 days will tell a lot about his ability to go on to the finish. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Today’s Miles = 3.9

The weather offered an absolutely gorgeous today for Nimble’s hike into Fontana Dam. The sun broke through and the temperatures are on the rise. The change of seasons is becoming evident and the path is reflecting some of the early colors of spring.

Fontana Dam 5/8/2014

Nimble had an interesting emotional/spiritual experience as he embraced the day and walked the last mile towards Fontana, The last mile I walked today towards Fontana Dam followed along the lakeshore about 200 feet above the water. I am totally alone. The planet has been created solely for me. No one else is near. I sat on a log and looked deep inside. At this juncture I feel hollow. What am I missing that I don’t see? May I be given the insight to appreciate all that I have. May I be blessed with wisdom. For anyone can obtain knowledge. But only the very fortunate obtain wisdom. May I be blessed to obtain the later.

Photo of Nimble at NOC https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/photos/24088

Sassafras Shelter Photo found at http://www.wikitrail.org/features/view/at/25558/sassafras-gap-shelter

Fontana Dam Photo from my thru-hike in 2014

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Appalachian Trail, Fontana Dam, GSMNP, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Nimble, North Carolina, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tree’s Journal

Tree (Susan Goodspeed) finally posted to her online journal on the Appalachian Trail. She dated two posts: one on March 5 – her first day on the trail beginning at the Approach Trail at Amicalola Falls; and one on March 19 – the 15th day of her thru-hike from Franklin, North Carolina (110 miles along the path).

Susan Goodspeed – Tree

Tree began her adventure on her 67th birthday and made a successful hike from the arches of Amicalola Falls State Park to the first shelter along the AT (Springer Mountain Shelter). The first 8.8 miles of the approach trail do not count in the total distance of the thru-hike, so her arrival at the shelter was actually 0.2 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Tree at the Arch – Amicalola Falls, Georgia

Tree’s first day was rainy, foggy, windy, and cold. This sounds about right for the welcoming weather in March. About celebrating her birthday in a shelter, Tree shares, I made it to the shelter and was happy to celebrate my 67th with new friends including Tom, a ridge runner, who works for the park and oversees that particular shelter. No cake or candles or even a fire but “Hey, I’m on the AT!”.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Tree’s Photo of the Green Tunnel

Tree gives an explanation for her silence during the first two weeks of hiking. Where are my entries? Well, I transitioned to a paper journal almost immediately upon starting my hike as the unpredictability of time and connectivity is a reality along the AT. 

Tree quickly shared her status in relation to the coronavirus, NOTE:  Please know that due to the CV, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is advocating all hikers get off of the trail. I shall make my decision soon.

Posting from Franklin,NC, Tree desires to hike to Fontana Dam, the southern entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As she considers hiking through the GSMNP, she is concerned because all rangers and ridge runners have been pulled from the park due to the virus and the rugged trails and potentially severe weather conditions in the park make the GSMNP a true challenge. Word on the trail is that many of the trail towns are closing down with limited services and dwindling supplies.

Tree closes her post with a insightful and realistic statement, As I suspected, I love the green tunnel and shall return, if need be, to hike another day.

I am not sure if and when Tree will post again, but I will keep you posted as she shares on her online journal

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Amicalola Falls, Appalachian Trail, Franklin, North Carolina, Georgia, Thru-Hike, Tree, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nimble to the NOC

Nimble began his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on February 28, 2020. He has walked from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), North Carolina. He is a summary of his journal from March 12-15.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Today’s Miles = 3.7

Nimble took advantage of Franklin and made some gear upgrade including some clothes that are more breathable. I think he might have been hiking in jeans, at least that was the picture at Amicalola Falls, so I am really glad to see him purchase some lightweight clothing. He headed back to the trail around noon, hit some rain shortly after, so he only hiked 3.7 miles to Siler Bald Shelter, accumulating 114 miles along the Appalachian Trail.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Today’s Miles = 6.8

Friday greeted Nimble with some more rain. He managed 6.8 miles and the highlight was the stone observation tower on the top of Wayah Bald. The weather cleared and Nimble was able to see the visa from the summit of 5,342 feet.

Today was the first emotional concern that Nimble has expressed, This was really my worst day on the trail. I had aches where I had none before. The uphills were excruciating. For the first time I had serious doubts. My whole body hurt. Am I too old?  But looking through my hikers’ companion to see what I had accomplished I found the picture of Lincoln, my grandson, that I carry with me. In it he is smiling, and some how I knew tomorrow will be a better day.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Today’s Miles = 10.6

What a difference a day makes. It was not a sunny day of weather but the rain remained in the clouds for the majority of the day. Nimble commented, Can’t explain what a difference it makes not to have to fight the rain and try to stay halfway dry. His attitude was much more positive today and he rolled out of his sleeping bag with a renewed purpose. Nimble was able to hike 10.6 miles and concluded his hike at Wesser Bald Shelter. He ends his post with an encouraging quote: The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.  Anonymous 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Today’s Miles = 5.7

Nimble at the NOC

Nimble was motivated on today’s hike down to the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) because his wife, Deloris, was waiting for him. Although the descent from Wesser Bald was filled with rocky boulders making the downhill rather difficult, Nimble was able to catch some views along the way. The short day of 5.7 miles ended with a great visit with Deloris and a rest for his legs. He plans to continue down the path on Monday

He is about 30 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so he obtained his permits today, recognizing the tough terrain between the NOC and the GSMNP.  

The Nantahala Outdoor Center
Categories: 2020 Hikers, Appalachian Trail, Franklin, North Carolina, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Nimble, North Carolina, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snapshot Enjoying the AT

Carolyn now has the trail name, Snapshot. She has experienced her share of rain and wind over the past few days, but she is still hiking strong. Snapshot posted some new photos of her earlier days, so I posted them in order to get her visual perspective.  Here is an update over the past three days.

Snapshot starting the Approach Trail

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Day 7

Today’s Miles = 11.1

Thursday brought lots of rain and mud and slippery rocks. The trail was slow going and presented difficult climbs. Snapshot used her umbrella all day and kept pretty dry. The stealth camp for the night is a bit wet as well. Snapshot writes, The goal was to get to Unico Gap and then push on a little further. We are stealth camping tonight for the first time and are not at a shelter. I had to set my tent up in the rain and there is no pleasure in that. Everything is soggy. Her group is camping together at Rocky Mountain (54.3 miles along the AT). Her trail friend, French Roast, made the decision to get off the trail at Unicoi Gap because his knee was hurting.

The weather was turning into another cold, windy and wet night. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Day 8

Today’s Miles = 9.9

The weather was rugged last night. It rained most of the night and the noisy wind whipped through the trees.  Snapshot was up and ready by 7:30 am, but everything was soaked. She described her perspective, The fog was thick and the morning was void of any views. It was hard climbing today, my legs are tired and I’m looking forward to my first zero-day on Sunday. 

The group stopped for lunch at Tray Mountain Shelter (4.3 miles) and then pushed on another 5+ miles to Addis Gap located 0.5 miles off the AT, down an old fire road along a stream. Snapshot is having trouble hanging her bear bag in the trees, but she has received help from those with a little more practice throwing the cord over the high hanging limbs.

Snapshot’ s group of hikers at a shelter

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Day 9

Today’s Miles = 5.5

Snapshot’s group took a nero-day today, hiking only 5.5 miles from Addis Gap into Dick’s Creek Gap. At the gap there awaited the most amazing trial blessing: delicious BLT’s and served them with a side of pasta salad! They also offered a variety of other supplies for the taking!  As past thru-hikes themselves, they knew, and had, exactly what a hopeful thru-hiker needed. 

After eating until they were full, the group was shuttled into Hiawassee by a trail angel, Buttercup. They got rooms at the Budget Inn for two nights. Snapshot is sharing a room with her new southern friend, Salt, from Louisiana. Tomorrow (Sunday 3/15/20) Snapshot is looking forward to taking her first zero-day. After a hot shower at the Budget Inn, the group met at an all-you-can-eat buffet and they all ate like true thru-hikers. After dinner, the group walked down to the brewery and had a beer in celebration of our first week on trail! 

Tomorrow has a very short agenda: 1) laundry, 2) resupply for the next four to five days, and 3) REST.

Budget Inn in Hiawassee, Georgia

Photo of the Budget Inn https://hiawasseebudgetinn.com/

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Appalachian Trail, Georgia, Hiawassee, Snapshot, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Carolyn IS on the Trail

A few days ago, I reported that four out of the five of thru-hikers that I am following have not reported from the trail. Well yesterday Carolyn posted from the Appalachian Trail. She begins her journal, I’m finding it really hard to write here out on the trail. I’m nearly a week in and this is the first time I’ve picked up the pen. Let me give you a quick synopsis of her adventure so far.

Friday, March 06, 2020

First Day Miles = 9

Her husband Tom, and children, Kelly and Rob, flew to Georgia with Carolyn two days prior to my start date. A surprise visit from my sister added to the family fun as they  enjoyed  two days together celebrating Rob’s 20th birthday before Carolyn started the trail on Friday morning. 

Carolyn started at Amicalola Falls and began climbing the 600 stairs of the Approach Trail under sunny skies. Fully loaded, her pack weighed 36 pounds. She reached Springer Mountain Shelter about 3:00 having completed the challenging 9-mile approach to the southern terminus of the AT.

Carolyn set up camp and was welcomed to a cold and windy night. Nine campers were I their tents early finding shelter against the relentless wind.

Amicalola Falls – my photo

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Today’s Miles = 7.9

Over a hot breakfast and a good cup of coffee , Carolyn made some new friends. One, whose name is Jimmy, is no called “French Roast.” for his admiration for a finer cup of coffee.

Carolyn hit the trail around 9 am. She walked solo during the day but many of the same people stayed at Hawk Mountain Shelter at day’s end, so she is felling part of the hiking community. The “group” is taking the hike at a slow pace (8-9 miles per day) during this first week in hopes of giving their bodies time to adjust to the climb and the weight of their packs.

Hawk Mountain Shelter

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Today’s Miles = 7.7 miles

Carolyn made it to Gooch Gap today and had her first experience of trail blessing. It is hard to put into words when you come out of the forest and see volunteers with food just for you. At Cooper Gap, Carolyn met a husband and wife team from Atlanta cooking hamburgers for all the hungry hikers coming down off the mountain

Monday, March 09, 2020

Today’s Miles = 8.5

Today’s destination was the Lance Creek Campsite. Carolyn has a good hike including another offering of trail blessing at Woody Gap. She journals, “there was two guys making chili dogs. In addition, they had chips and fruit and so much more! It was a welcome site, not only substantial fuel to get over the next mountain but a great morale boost as well. Such an amazing gift of generosity by people who just love the hiking community or who are past Thru- hikers themselves and just want to give back.” 

Lance Creek Camp 2018

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Today’s Miles = 7.3

Carolyn was up at 5am and broke camp in the dark. Rain was predicted to start at 6am her goal was to pack up her tent while it was still dry. She succeeded and hiked the first hour and half under the cover of darkness and in the rain. Her adventure over Blood Mountain was think with fog no views were available. She strapped her umbrella to my pack and kept dry from the waist up. She arrived at Neel Gap, shared a cabin with four others. They all enjoyed a hot shower, got their laundry done and had a comfy bed for a good night’s sleep.

My View from Blood Mountain 2014

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Today’s Miles = 11.5

Carolyn’s explains her morning. It was great to wake up in the cabin today. We then hiked back up to Mountain Crossing Outfitters where we were able to resupply for the next four days. With all the morning preparations, we got a late start getting back on the trail. The plan was to push 11.5 to Lower Gap Shelter. We had four mountains to go over and I was struggling with the weight of my newly resupplied pack. 

A group of five (plus one) hiked the whole day together: Carolyn, French Roast, Baby Gap, Stone Man & Aura (plus their dog, Rou).  The group is very eclectic ranging in age from 29 to 66.

They reached their destination goal but arrived late in the day, so they cooked some dinner, relaxed for a little while and then hit the hay. Carolyn’s evaluation: My body’s tired at the end of the day, but I have no specific or major hurts, not even a blister, and for that I am thankful.

The big news of the day: Carolyn received her trail name: Snapshot! 

Snapshot!

Hawk Mountain Shelter Photo: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/2-appalachian-trail-georgia-seccion-17-2-y-aprox-de-black-gap-shelter-a-springer-mountain-y-hawk-mo-12008908/photo-7357599

Lance Creek Camp Photo: https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entry/583576

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Amicalola Falls, Appalachian Trail, Georgia, Hawk Mountain, Neel Gap, Snapshot, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nimble into North Carolina

Jack Spurrier, trail name: Nimble, began his Appalachian Trail thru-hike on February 28th from Springer Mountain, Georgia. This post is an update from his online journal. Nimble did not update any photos so I have included some of mine from 2014.

Day Thirteen

Sunday, March 08, 2020

End of the day Trip Miles = 80.5

Nimble made it to the border of Georgia and North Carolina and camped at Sassafras Gap, NC, two miles beyond the border.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous today with temperatures near sixty. There is nothing like the sunshine to encourage the heart of a thru-hiker. He was actually able to see the glorious mountain vistas – another aspect of the hike that makes the mountains worth climbing.  Nimble is aware that the next 8miles are difficult, although it is only the last 3.5 miles that involves a fairly steep ascent.

GA/NC Border Sign

Day Fourteen

Monday, March 09, 2020

Trip Miles = 90.7

Nimble was greeted with an amazing sunrise. He hiked most of the day and arrived at the summit of Standing Indian Mountain (5498’ in elevation) by 4:00 including the final descent of 1157 feet overa 2.4 mile stretch of trail. He shares, the climb up was exhausting, but I made the summit by 4:00 PM. One of the benefits of the summit is that you get to come down hill on the other side. He continued his walk another 3 miles and camped at Beech Gap Tenting area, a good source of water. He was pleased with the 10+-mile day.

My View of Standing Indian Mountain 5/2/201

Day Fifteen

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Trip Miles = 100.1

Nimble needed to live up to his trail name today as he climbed up Albert Mountain and the fire tower at its summit. In addition to the rigorous climb, the weather provided a slippery carpet of rain over the rocky surface. This climb up Albert is a sobering introduction to the reality that a thru-her is also a mountain climber.  

My View from Mount Albert Fire Tower

Day Sixteen

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Trip Miles = 109.4

When Nimble went to bed last night it was raining; when he broke camp this morning it was raining. Disappointingly, the visibility at fire tower was about 10 feet. On the upside the trail was not brutal and Nimble managed to log in 9.3 miles. He caught a ride at Winding Stair Gap and traveled the ten miles into Franklin, NC, in order to dry out and watch the weather carefully.   

With the increase in mileage in the last few days, Nimble is encouraged. The Smokies are only 60 miles away and he is hoping that his legs are getting stronger. He posted, I feel like I am building endurance, but people blow by me on the uphills. Even people about my age. I just need to build more stamina …. Rain and cold are my biggest problem and that won’t change much for the next 6 weeks.

Franklin Welcome Sign

   

Categories: 2020 Hikers, Albert Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Franklin, North Carolina, Georgia, Nimble, North Carolina, Standing Indian Mountain, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2020 Hikers – Update

About a month ago, I identified five thru-hikers to follow as they made their way along the Appalachian Trail. Two of the five were leaving in February. Jack Spurrier was beginning his 28th. The next day (Leap Day) 5-OH, Jordon Maham was to step out. Tree, Susan Goodspeed, had a target date of March 5th and Carolyn was to start her adventure on March 6. Finally, Mike Carpenter was scheduled to leave Springer Mountain, Georgia on March 14, 2020.

Jack “Nimble” Spurrier

Jack started on time and I have provided a few updates on his progress. He now has the trail name, Nimble and has posted about 70 miles on the trail as he draws close to the Georgia/North Carolina border.

However, the middle three (5-OH, Tree, and Carolyn) seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. Mike “Scooby” Carpenter’s date is this Saturday and I hope he is still on target.

5-OH

The last journal post for 5-OH was on Thursday, February 27, 2020. He shared that he had picked up his Golden Retriever and his cat and was driving down to South Carolina. He left late at night so he would hopefully miss the traffic jams. Two minutes into the journey the cat went going ballistic in its crate. For 45 minutes it just kept meowing not stop. 5-OH was unable to comfort the cat as it continued to meow for the majority of the 10-hour trip.

Another “trip bonus” was a rock that flew up and cracked his windshield. He shared an insightful comment on his blog, this reminded me of something that I needed to keep in mind on the trail. Every day is going to be different but there could always be that rock that flies off a truck and makes it a little bit unbearable. But what can you do. I couldn’t stop the rock it was beyond my control. You can get mad at that rock or the rain or that mud or the next steep climb up a mountain. But in all reality, there is nothing you can do about it just grin and bear it. Keep on going there’s no sense in getting mad about or frustrated because you won’t be able to change that rock, the cold, the rain, the bugs, etc.

 5-OH concluded his post this optimistic comment: Saturday is the big Day! GA to ME. I am still waiting for an update from him. I will keep you posted.

Tree

Tree’s last post was on February 28 as she was continuing to get ready for her trip to Georgia. However she posted a photograph of herself at the approach at Amicalola Falls, Georgia on March 5, but there is no journal post or explanation of her progress.

Tree at Approach Trail – March 5, 2020

Carolyn has not updated her journal since February 7. She shared that she was excited about the trail. She also shared that the family was about to her their home on the market. She shared about her home, The house my husband and I built 15 years ago. The house we raised our family in, the house we saved for and dreamed about building during the first 12 years of our marriage. With our children now grown and a growing desire to simplify life, selling our home is something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years and yet, now, it seems painfully very bittersweet. Maybe the sale of her home has delayed her start. I will keep you posted.

Carolyn’s Home
Categories: 2020 Hikers, Amicalola Falls, Appalachian Trail, Georgia, Thru-Hike | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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