Springer Mountain, Georgia
Mile 0, March 31, 2001
I flew into Atlanta on March 30th. Chuck, a “trail angel” living in the area, put three soon-to-be thru-hikers up for the night; Stan, Tina, and myself. In the morning he drove us to the trailhead where we began our hike by making the short walk to the top of Springer Mountain
Bombadil at the North Carolina Border
Mile 75, April 5
Bombadil and Noodles were among the few hikers that I hiked with frequently during the first few weeks. Needless to say, both of these fellows had followed the tradition of using trail names.
I saw a number of backpacking dogs early in the hike, but none towards the end of the trail. Attempting a thru-hike with a dog is something to consider carefully before you set out.
April 10, Mile 163
The visitor’s center was still closed, but the store in town had supplies to supplement my (unnecessary!) food drop. By this time I felt like a thru-hiker, and I’ll never forget seeing the first leaves coming out in the lower elevations around the dam.
In the Smokies there were areas where the forest floor was carpeted with flowers. It was in this area that I made a sneak on an animal I could hear rummaging around in the leaves, and came upon a wild boar!
Double Spring Gap Shelter
April 12, Mile 193
There were some nice folks in this shelter, but this shot illustrates why I was sometimes less than enthusiastic with the shelters in the Smokies, at times they were crowded and dark.
April 21, Mile 339
This area was the home of Davy Crockett.
April 23, Mile 376
This area is so beautiful it was used as the setting for the movie “Winter People.” It was here that Noodles and I met the famous “Barefoot Sisters” who, after completing a thru-hike south, were turning around and planning to make (most of) the return hike barefoot!
Longhorns, Hump Mountains
April 23, Mile 378
At first I thought these magnificant cattle were bulls, but it turned out they were steers. They looked lethal, but turned out to be harmless.
Near Whitetop Mountain
April 28, Mile 479
This was a great campsite with a handy, piped spring and a fantastic view.
Don’t forget to check out my Appalachian Trail Gear List