Wednesday, 30 May
|Destination: Stover Creek Shelter||Today’s Miles: 11.6
Approach Trail 8.8
|Start Location: Approach Trail||Trip Miles: 11.6|
Started at the Amicalola Falls Visitor Center around ten am. Dolora hiked up near where the stairs started. She let me hike up the 604 steps alone after a hug and kiss. Dolora is my Trail Angel and support team. She will meet up with me in Gatlinburg in about two weeks. It is 8.8 miles on the Approach Trail to the start of the Appalachian Trail.
I had hiked the first five miles of the trail last year when I picked up Trail Snail at the end of her AT hike. It was a little strange to see a snail on a rock where we had stopped for lunch. The day stated cool, about seventy, mostly overcast and occasional drizzle, nice for hiking. I only saw six people before reaching the start of the AT. One was a couple doing a flip flop thru hike. They were heading to Pennsylvania next.
There is a shelter right near the start on Springer Mountain. As I passed, I heard a clap of thunder. I wondered whether it was an omen since I had decided to go another 2.8 miles to Stover Creek Shelter. A few minutes later, I was hiking in a thunderstorm. It only lasted about half an hour. I arrived at the shelter at four.
I had trouble with my water filter when I went to get water. It is really flowing slowly. At least I have some tablets for backup. I will be at an outfitter for resupply in two or three days and replace the filter then.
I checked out the tent sites but decided to stay in the shelter since it keeps getting dark and then light again. The forecast is for an overnight thunder storm. A family stopped by, husband, wife and two daughters, then went on. Another lady came in later and is staying in the shelter also. I expect to have to deal with mice tonight.
It really feels good mentally to be hiking again. We’ll see how I feel physically in the morning.