Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Plans are never set in concrete ...

... and ours have once again changed. Looking at the weather while traveling to and from Dallas, we saw that once again snow was forecasted for the Shenandoah/North Virginia area and Georgia was to be on the upswing of both sunshine and temperatures. So yes, you guessed it, we changed and headed to the southern terminus of the AT in Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia. We will become Northbounders (NOBOs) now until we hit the last pick-up point in Shenandoah National Park.

This is by far, more technical and harder than the trail that we have experienced so far (barring the snow of course). The mountains are higher, the trails less accessible, and very little straight, even trail. Still Danny is up to it.

We drove through the rain from Dallas to Canton, GA where, the next morning, the sun broke out. By the time we got to Amicalola Falls State Park, things were heating up, figuratively and virtually. The temps were warm, sunscreen a necessity and no room at the proverbial inn due to people everywhere. The first of the hike was not even on the AT, but rather the "approach" - 8.5 miles of all uphill or up-mountain if you will - to reach Springer Mountain summit, the start of the AT. This also included 604 steps in two sections up the falls.
50 degrees and sunshining ...

 how many miles to finish??????

 everyone goes through the gate behind the Visitor's centre.

The Trail Angel down at the parking lot at the lower end of Springer Mountain, on the AT, says that only 40% of all through hikers actually come up from Amicalola Falls State Park so he has some bragging rights there. I hiked "up" the .9 miles from the parking lot to the summit to meet him and then hike back down. A good day for a good second start.

the original plaque that is found on the side of the boulder where the white blaze for the start of the AT and the blue blaze for the approach come together:

This is found on a boulder of the actual summit

The Southern Terminus of the AT.

the view that I enjoyed while waiting for Danny:

and here he comes ...

and so ends the first day back on the trail, this time NorthBound (NoBo).