I haven’t been doing any conditioning lately so I told myself I was going to limit my mileage even if I was feeling good, and I had every intention of stopping at Springer Mountain shelter for the night. I somehow missed it though and am now at Stover Creek shelter. Oops. It was only another 2.8 miles, and mostly downhill, but that put me at 11.6 miles for the day instead of 8.8. I was still in camp by 4:00 though, the time at which a sign I saw said I would be at Springer from Amicalola. Apparently I am not as slow a hiker as I thought.
Last night I was kicking myself for not hiking at least a little bit since there ended up being almost 3 more hours of daylight, and today it turned out there were a ton of campsites all along the approach trail, but it was still raining off and on and today turned out to be a gorgeous, perfect first day. I got started hiking at 9am and was down to short sleeves by 10:15. I hiked up the 600 steps next to Amicalola Falls, the highest falls east of the Mississippi, first thing. Once I made the top, I could see the sun though which made it a much warmer day. It was pretty breezy on top of Springer but I stopped for a photo and to sign the register before moving on. I only saw one other hiker before getting to Springer but there were a bunch afterwards once I was on the AT.
I have set up my tent at tonight’s shelter since I expect a lot more people and no rain. Also last night mice got into Ewok’s food bag, which is why I was sort of planning on always tenting any way. Since the shelter was enclosed, the ranger said there was no need to hang anything, and there were no mouse hangers inside, so I assumed it was okay. I was just lucky they didn’t get into my bag too.
People kept asking me before coming if I was really nervous or excited but I was too busy to even think about it much. Finishing my job and moving out of my apartment the same week was very poor planning. Being out here doesn’t seem all that out of the ordinary yet either. I was just working the other day and I’m frequently not at home. I think it will hit me in a few weeks.
Going the little extra mileage today messes up my schedule for the week unless I want to stop really early tomorrow so I need to see how I feel tomorrow as I hike. I’ve already eaten dinner, filtered enough water for tomorrow, and set everything up. I’m just waiting to hang my food bag on the bear cables until I decide I’m done snacking for the evening. Lots more hikers pulling into the shelter now.