Georgia

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

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

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

Nimble’s First Dozen Days

Jack Spurrier, trail name Nimble, posted an update for his last three days on the Appalachian Trail, extending his adventure to an even dozen days. Here is a summary of his journal. Unfortunately, he did not post any photos, so I can not give you a visual of his journey.

Jack : Pre-hike Photo

Day Ten

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Nimble started at Unicoi Gap, Georgia (mile marker 52.9) and completed his day around 3:00 at Wolfpen Gap (mile 59.8) for just under seven miles. He hiked over two nice mountains (Rocky Mountain a climb of 1,068 feet in less than half of mile) and Tray Mountain (1,317-foot ascent in 2.5 miles of trail)  

The rain started at the summit of Rocky Mountain and made the trail slow going. Nimble arrived at Tray Mtn. Shelter about 2:00, but the facility was full of hunkered down hikers so he decided to press on to Wolfpen Gap. By the time he arrived the rain had slacked off, so he decided to set up his tent. Then came the rain but his sleeping bag was dry. Jack declared the adventure as his best day yet.

Day Eleven

Friday, March 06, 2020

Nimble began his post with a wonderful quote: The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.  Moliere

Moliere

On a very cold morning, Nimble set out with clear skies and the hopes of sunshine. Shortly after 2:00, the sky clouded up and the wind began to howl. He found an open spot at Deep Gap Shelter (6.2 miles for the day) and decided to stop for the day. The temperatures are forecast down into the 20s overnight.

I am impressed with Nimble’s good attitude in the face of the wet weather. He closes this day’s journal with the following good words.  “Must remember it is still winter and I am in the mountains. Am glad I decided to do this.”

Deep Gap Shelter, Georgia

Day Twelve

Saturday, March 07, 2020

The morning revealed temperatures in the mid-20s and numb fingers. His water bottles were partially frozen and his gloves rather stiff with cold. Nimble left at dawn with the goal of reaching Dick’s Creek (only a hike of 3.6-mile walk). He purposely planned a short day in order to find a dry and warm place to thaw out his cold hands and dry out his gear.

Nimble ends his post with lots of hope for Day Thirteen – the sun is scheduled to warm the day and the Georgia/North Carolina border is just 8.9 miles away. There is something about seeing the sign on the tree indicated the border that energizes the body and encourages the spirit. I hope he reaches his goal.

Border Marker on the AT

Photos:

Deep Gap Shelter: http://hummingbirdhikes.blogspot.com/2013/09/choose-your-shelter-in-georgia.html

Moliere: https://writerswrite.co.za/literary-birthday-15-january-moliere/

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Georgia, Nimble, Thru-Hike | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Nimble Gets Some Rain

Nimble on Wolf Laurel Top 2.29 – Before the Rains

Monday, March 02, 2020

Day Seven

At the end of Jack Spurrier’s (Nimble) first week of his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he encountered the rains of March. He started at Tesnatee Gap and had hopes of a long hike. About an hour into his walk it began to pour. He continued to the Low Gap Shelter and took cover. He was limited to 5.5 miles, but he found someplace to dry out.

Some wet hikers at Low Gap Shelter

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Day Eight

The rain continued into the eighth day. Nimble started hiking in a severe downpour but he managed to walk to Blue Mountain Shelter which was 7.3 miles. He was soaked through and through. As he was making his way to the shelter he encountered some huge boulders which the rain very slick. As he stepped on one that rocked back and forth, he felt uneasy about the safety of continuing in the rain.  

Keep dry, Nimble

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

 Day Nine

Nimble took a Nero day today Nero = Near zero). He walked 1.4 miles to Unicoi Gap. picking up a mail drop and spending the rest of the day (most likely in Hiawassee or Helen, Georgia – he does not share exactly where in his journal) getting ready to continue his adventure.

Nimble is getting a very slow start. Hopefully, as the weather clears and some sunshine invades the trail, Nimble will begin to pick up the pace and accumulate some better mileage. Everyone must find his/her own pace and HYOH (Hike Your Own Hike), but Nimble has only logged 52.9 miles in nine days. At this rate (5.87 miles per day) his journey to Maine will last 373 days! I am hoping for some sunshine and warmer temperatures for Jack.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Georgia, Low Gap Shelter, Nimble, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Jack Spurrier Gets His Trail Name

Day Four – Friday, February 28, 2020

After spending the night off-trail in a warm and dry room, Jack got a 9:30 shuttle ride back to Cooper Gap on the Appalachian Trail. He spent the day hiking and arrived at his destination for the night, Woody Gap at 3:30 pm. He traveled 8.3 miles, but the trail was challenging. He traversed Justus Mountain and Gooch Mountain and encountered a rugged, rocky section between the climbs. The forecast called for 20-degree temperatures along with some high winds, so Jack and an unnamed hiker headed for a hostel for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Jack obtained a trail name: Nimble. He shared the experience, “My trail name was bestowed on me yesterday. I am now Nimble.  As in Jack be nimble. Got that when I slid down a slick rock and somehow caught myself with my trekking poles.

Day Five – Saturday, February 29, 2020

Nimble had a good hiking day on day five and accumulated 11.7 miles from Woody Gap to Neel Gap (a total of 31.7 miles on the AT). In order to arrive at Neel Gap, Nimble encountered his first major climb – Blood Mountain. The climb up is a major accomplishment and the descent on the other side is steep and must be navigated with care on a good day. Nimble recorded in his journal, “The climb up Blood Mtn. was long and the south side had a lot of snow and ice on the trail. The decent side was solid rock and rather slippery. It is the tallest mountain on the AT in Georgia. The view from the top was breathtaking.” (No photos were posted)

At the end of the day, Nimble was satisfied with his progress. He shared of having a sore neck and being very tired, but he seemed to be in good spirits and looking forward to day six.  

Day Six – Sunday, March 01, 2020

Nimble managed to hike 6 miles. He was unable to find water on the trail. He passed by two dry water sources. Jack and his hiking partner knew they were about a mile away from the next potential water source and both were concerned about finding it dry as well, so, when they reached Tesnatee Gap and GA 348, they called for a shuttle into town.

The weather report indicates rain over the next three days. It might make for sloppy hiking, but the water sources should be refreshed. Nimble plans to hike regardless of the precipitation.  

Nimble is off to a slow start: 37.7 miles in six days – averaging only 6.28 miles per day. But the weather has been tough and hopefully, his legs will become stronger with each day. He is wisely going at his own pace and not pushing for big miles out of the gate. His attitude seems good and he has found someone to hike alongside – both of which are positive signs.  

Jack Drawing: https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=1528

Jack’s Journal: https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/24088

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Georgia, Neel Gap, Thru-Hike, Trail Name, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Jack Spurrier – Tough Start on the Appalachian Trail

Jack posted on his online journal yesterday. He updated his first three days on the trail. They were tough days for him.

Jack’s Pre-hike Photo

Day One 2/25/2020

Jack hiked 7.4 miles on Tuesday, Feb 25, and was content with that. It was his first day and the last three miles were mostly uphill. His post sounded upbeat but he did share, “I have to admit the continuous uphill about killed me. Don’t know what, but must lose some weight out of pack. Just feels too heavy.” He spent his first night on the trail at a campsite near Hawk Mountain.

Day Two 2/26/2020

Jack’s second day of hiking was quite difficult. He walked 4.8 miles but he shared that it felt like 15 miles. A light rain started about noon and he began to experience some discomfort in his left foot. He even stopped along the trail and taped his foot. In disbelief, Jack shared that he had “Walked over 100 miles in these boots before starting. Walk 10 miles on the trail and my left foot is killing me.” Jack stopped at Cooper Gap for another night in his tent. Cooper Gap is a little over 12 miles from Springer Mountain.

Day Three 2/27/2020

Jack awoke to a surprise. His tent was enclosed in ice. The temperatures had fallen into the low 20s and the constant wind took the windchill to a much colder level. His tent actually froze to the ground with a half-inch of snow on top. He attempted to pack up but found that his tent was in such a state that he could not get it back in his pack. Since Cooper Gap campsite is very close to a road, Jack called for a shuttle, took his gear to a hotel room and decided to take a zero-day. He was able to thaw everything out and is ready for a better day on Friday.  

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Cooper Gap, Georgia, Hawk Mountain, Jack Spurrier, Springer Mountain, Thru-Hike | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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