I woke up early full of anticipation. Checked my gear then went to checkout
I was feeling nervous as I waited for my ride.
A car pulled up and the driver called out my name , Jez was my driver and his 5 year daughter was accompanying us
It was a 40 min ride to Amacolla fails. and my driver was very informative and very helpful.
Wow we are here we drove through the park entrance pausing for me to take a few photos. Then Jez parked up. I paid him and retrieved my heavy pack. At the entrance was a set of scales and so i weighed my pack. Omg 54 lb that’s far too heavy I need to get that lighter. and fast !!
I made my way to the Rangers office to register , there were about a dozen fresh new faces all excited to be here too. We all had to listen to a safety briefing , It was very informative ,I didn’t get this on the PCT
After our briefing we made our way out and towards the trail entrance . The ranger took our photos outside the arch , then it was time to walk , I walked through and arch and headed for the trail. This is the approach trail a 7.5 miles trail that joins the AT.
I was dreading this as there are 700 steps to climb first. Omg my age my fitness the sun my pack. It took me 30 minutes until at last I was at the top , hurrah what amazing views.
Well I thought the steps were going to be tough but OMG, this approach trail really kicked my arse. The terrain was so gnarly and steep that I struggled to get any pace at all.
I sucked on my water house , yummy I love the taste of rubber nice!!. I pushed on and up but my feet didnt appear to be moving, God this is a killer….
It’s no good I need to stop . I dropped my pack laid out my Tyvek and collapsed into it, ‘removed my shoes and socks to air my feet and enjoyed the rest.
OKAY let’s go, I hoisted up my pack and plodded up the trail, the hours were passing but sadly not the miles. The ups were mighty, sapping my strength.
I kept stopping, pausing for breadth , God I am so unfit!!.
This is a killer, I pushed on but after another hour i needed to take another break
Pack off ,Tyvek down, shoes and socks off. I took another 30 minutes break before renewing the climb. At 4.30 I reached Springer mountain that is the official start of the Appalachian Trail
It has taken me 7 hrs to hike 8 miles that’s poor , or rather the terrain is steep, or maybe I am just not as fit as I thought !!
I took the obligatory photo of the Appalachian trail plaque before heading to the camp site.
There were about a dozen tents scattered around the shelter, I quickly chose a spot and put my new shiny tent up, dumped my kit inside and then went in search of water.
Time for tea, I brewed up then cooked pasta which tasted so good
I sat around the table with other hikers joking and telling tales until my bed began calling to me