Posted by: athike2011 | March 16, 2011


3/13 – 7.8 miles, hawk mtn shelter
Eli dropped me off at the parking lot on springer mtn and hiked the 1.8miles round trip to the summit and back. Doing that helped ease my pre trip anxiety an I was feeling much better. After 2.8 miles I reached my first shelter where I stopped to take a break and met a few other hikers. A while later I took a small side trail to a beautiful waterfall and continued on to hawk mtn, where I settled in for the night. Being at the shelter started well, however after a while of talking with other people, my anxiety returned. My biggest concern now is for Sierra, ad whether she will be able to make it all the way, if I will have trouble in the national parks, if she gets injured, or if she causes issues with other hikers. These were all issues I thought of prior to leaving, but I guess I didn’t fully wrap my head around the idea until now. On a lighter note, my knee feels pretty good so far, a little sore, but I plan to continue to start a little slow and see how it goes. Hopefully my concerns will all turn out to be unfounded in the coming weeks.

3-14 7.3 miles, gootch mtn shelter

Good day of hiking today lots of big steep ups and downs, managed to run out of water 3/4 of the way to Justus creek as I didn’t fill up 100% at hawk, lesson learned. It’s windy tonight and supposed to rain, along with a 60% chance of rain tomorrow. I’m going to try and get an early start and get to woods hole shelter, which is about 12 miles and leaves me only 3 miles from meals gap, where I will need to walk or hitch a ride 3 miles into town for my first resupply. Apparently someone saw a bear down by the stream today right around when i got in, but i never saw anything or heard more of it. Feeling better about everything today, still miss friends and family though.

3/15 11.9 miles, plus .5 to shelter, woods hole shelter

Started pouring at midnight and hasn’t stopped raining yet. My pack is pretty wet, but my gear is mostly dry. Got my first blister today, I was trying everything I could to prevent it, but no luck. Tomorrow the first 2 miles or so are straight up blood mountain, then down to Neals Gap. They have $15/night hostel but dogs have to stay outside, so depending on the weather I may stay there. It would be nice to shower, use the washer/dryer to get my stuff clean and dry and give my foot a day to heal. Weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow, which would be quite nice. New boots may be in order tomorrow. Back and knees hurt today.



  1. I don’t think you ever really know how a journey will begin until it does,
    You’re doing remarkably well. There must be so many questions that don’t come into play, fully, until the trip is under way.
    You know you’ll have to have your “Houston vacation” elements to tell us all about. My guess is there will be many of those.
    Sierra is a wonderful puppy, but if she needs anything, we’re here for her.
    Follow this journey as it takes you and have the time of your life!

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