Saturday, April 23, 2016

Day 1: Let's do this

Amicalola State Park-Springer Mtn
(Approach trail and hiker inn trail) 10 miles
(0 official AT miles).

Me and procrastination are old friends. So it shouldn't have been any surprise that I never even packed my whole bag until hours before I left. Oh well at least it all fits.

It's going to be one long day, a ride to a shuttle then the airport and 3 plane rides will get me to Georgia by 1030 am then I get to find Rest Stop and a train to the end of the line and then one last shuttle. Just you know 12-14 hours of travel overnight, no biggie.

I'm no stranger to sleep deprivation, 4 years on night shift have made it an unfortunately well known state of being. And curled up in a ball under a laptop charging station at 1 am in the Vegas airport brings it all screaming back. Ever try sleeping on those built in airport seats? Yeah that's one giant fail.

I finally made it to Georgia and twiddled my thumbs for a bit and soon enough my partner in crime appeared. We grabbed his pack, headed to MARTA and hopped on the train. If you're from the Bay Area MARTA is just BART but in Atlanta, a sweet straightforward train transport. A 45 minutes train ride and it was the final step in my hours of travel. A shuttle ride with a local, Ron's a good guy getting plenty of hikers out to the trail. He's been around the trail along time and was even a ranger at Amicalola State Park before it was privatized 3 years ago. He gave us lots of trail beta and chatted away our hour plus to the park.

We goofed around at the Amicalola State Falls visitor center packing up and using their fun scale to see what we were in for. Our packs without food and water are nice and light and weighed down are still under 20 pounds. It's the lightest I've ever been and I'm darn excited about it.

The trail climbs through trees where spring is just starting, millions of greens and flowers peeking out everywhere. It's simply gorgeous out here. It's a short climb up to the falls and then quite a few steps to the top. We pass 2 other thruhikers and enjoy our views.

The miles feel good under our feet and the afternoon flies by. We didn't start walking until 3 pm but we're both wide awake and end up making it all the way to Springer, the official start of the trail a little before dark. We take cheesy pictures set up and hope for some good sleep.

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