Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 1 of official AT Mileage

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller, The Open Door

I can't even explain how exciting it was to see this sign and to know we were almost to the first white blaze

Wow the official plaque and SOUTHERN TERMINUS!

Everything is better at Dawn

I came into this area and it took me a minute to realize wait, where is the first blaze, we quickly found it in the dark, we arrived by 6:30 and just waited for the sun to come up.

So happy to finally be here!! I kissed the plaque!

Our first trail magic was with Mountain Squid

Mountain Squid sets up camp and shares trail magic every year, he is a great trail angel with lots of good advice :)

Road crossing

Looks like a rain forest in here, waters flowing, water falls and lots of full greenery. Love it already

Ridge runner sent out on the trail to remind us all that their is no camping in or around Blood Mountain without a Bear Canister because of Bear Incidents. Last place to camp is Lance Creek prior to that section.

Long Creek Falls a blue blaze off the AT, a gorgeous view, don't miss it!

We picked up a friend, this is "Amber" who later becomes Hot Spitz

Setting up Camp for our first night at Hawk Mountain Shelter

Lots of other campers out here tonight, I was shocked. We had about 40 in camp several campfires going, lots of fun

Camp neighbor and general fire starter, Mattox

Welcome to my kitchen
Today was amazing, we were up at 4 to catch a shuttle to Springer Mountain. We hiked back one mile to the first white blaze and the beginning of the Southern terminus. Then on to Hawk Mountain Shelter. In our way we came to our first trail magic from mountain squid and met Amber, who became hot spritz. It was a very tropical like hike the first 6 miles by a creek, with a water fall blue blaze. We stopped and had lunch. The sun came out and it became pretty warm. I felt pretty light headed when we got to the stream to resupply on water. Fresh cold stream water is amazing when it is cold. The shelter was nice. We ended up with about 40 other hikers. We had several bonfires around camp and here we met a Canadian family with their three children all thru hiking, we met Mattox who is now been named Fall and Oats because he sings  Hall and Oats and he fell three times the first day. We also met Christy and Neil, who are now known as Blood Root and Red Hawk. I named Sarah, Beef Jerky pie because her beef jerky made her morning pie taste like beef jerky and we now sing "Beef Jerky Pie" instead of sweet cherry pie to her. Anna was named Peanut butter Bags who also has a song we sing to the tune of "peanut butter and jelly time" because she eats peanut butter out of bags.
We went to get water, Peanut Butter Bags, Beef Jerky Pie, Fall and Oats,  Hot Spitz and myself when a bat came out of the woods and flew at each of us while in a stream getting water. Beef jerky pie yelled out -watch that bat if he is out in the day he has rabies. We all tried to run and four of us fell on the muddy slope trying to escape the bat. This was hysterical.  Fall and Oats had the best fall into the creek and broke his sandals, yep on the first day of white blazes.

We had a great dinner, shared some whiskey, good eats a fire and lots of conversation. It was Christy (bloodroot.. from the flower), Neil (Red Hawk), the Canadians, but mostly the kids, Peanut Butter Bags, Beef Jerky Pie, Myself, Hot Spitz, Barking Spider, Steve and Mooch the Pooch and one other hiker, we didn't see much more after that night. The fire was still roaring but we were now off to bed before it got any later. What an amazing day!!
It couldn't have been any better, sunrise on Springer
Three Forks creek crossing
Long Falls

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