Stover Creek Shelter
Wednesday 3/18
AT Miles = 2.8
Other Miles = 8.8
Total Miles = 11.6

Today was a perfect day to start a thru-hike. After days and days of rain, today was warm and sunny with a bit of haze. After a hearty breakfast at the Hikers Hostel in Dahlonega, six hikers piled into the truck to be shuttled to the trail. Only two of us had chosen to hike the Approach Trail from Amicalola Falls State Park. The trail starts at the stone arch behind the Visitors Center, then follows the paved trail up along the falls, which includes seven hundred and something stairs. Whew!

After I got out of the state park the trail turned quiet and lovely. It is quite different than New England, which I think of as mud, roots, and rocks. Here the trail was dry and smooth for easy walking. It was only the elevation gain that made the hiking hard.

I left Amicalola Falls at about 10:20 and arrived at the summit of Springer Mountrain at 1:50, much faster than I expected. I hadn’t yet picked a final goal for the day. I could have stopped at the Springer Mountrain Shelter just 0.2 miles from the summit, but with about 6 hours of daylight left it seemed that pushing on a little further made sense, so I continued on the 2.8 miles to here, Stover Creek Shelter.

It’s about 6:30 now. We’ve got blue skies and a gentle breeze, and the evening is starting to cool off. My hammock is hung out behind the shelter, and I think it is going to be wonderful sleeping weather tonight; fresh and chilly.

There is a fire going started by one of the3 other hikers. There are a half dozen hikers in the shelter, a few in tents 50 yards away, and me in my hammock.

The weather forecast I saw this morning before leaving the hostel called for a 30% chance of rain tomorrow, then sunny and warm for the rest of the week.

While hiking today I was thinking that so far this feels like just another weekend hiking trip. I wonder how long it will be before it starts transitioning from a hiking trip into a life-style.