I started up Springer approach trail at 7:30 am. It didn’t take long before my zip-off pants came off and I was sweating profusely. Even early in the morning the temperature was close to seventy. I only passed a couple of day hikers on the way and met one young thru-hiker while I was resting at a shelter.

I’ve heard of hikers throwing away gear on the mountain, but never thought it was true. About two-thirds of the way up, I came to a campsite with gear scattered by the trail. At first I thought someone was camped there but no one was about and I realized it was discarded from someone’s pack. There was hi-tech clothes, assorted camping items, and eight expensive Mountain House dinners. I wanted to pack the food out but I had all I could carry as it was.

When I reached Springer and the start of the AT, it was still early so I decided to move ahead to the next shelter. And besides, it looked like a storm was moving in, prompting me to get to lower ground for the night.

The walk down the mountain was exciting. Lighting crashed all around, hail prattled my head, and the rain came in torrents. I was full of adrenaline, propelling me faster than I should have walked on slippery rocks, until eventually the sun came out again. By the time I reached Stover Creek shelter, I was almost dry.

I visited with a couple hikers and enjoyed good conversation until darkness and bugs drove us to our tents. I slept well but woke early in the morning.

4 Responses to “Springer”

  1. Mom says:

    Don’t become a lightning rod when you are on the mountain top alone. Thunder storms are so different in the West, where you can see for miles, with no trees to block your view.

  2. Dick says:

    Hey man, take it easy at first. No reason to push until you have built up some hiking muscles.

    Maybe you should just have had an early lunch…

  3. Daryl says:

    Are you writing this on your phone? That’s an adventure all by itself.

    Wish I could be hiking with you, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the solitude.

    Looking forward to the next post.

  4. Karen says:

    The soggy shoed hiker strikes again! Sounds like you are having fun. I’m so happy that you are curing that white blaze fever you’ve been suffering from for all of these years. 🙂 keep posting! Love you!!

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