“The Turtle Wins This Race” first 6 days on the A.T.

Day 1
A tough day on the approach trail. I was dropped off at Amicalola Falls State Park in GA by my parents around 11am. Right off the bat I struggled with the mile hike straight up the falls on metal stairs. The rest of the 8 mile trail was just as hard with a steady up hill 2000 elevation change. I finally reached Black Gap shelter before dark. the campers at the shelter were very nice and that boosted my moral back up again. Met thru hiker Candace.

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Day 2
Crazy storm rolled in over night with high wind and down pour. Woke up freezing. Hiked up to the summit of Springer Mountain the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. Sitting at the top was Springer Mountain Caretaker Jonathan who help me greatly with adjusting my pack to make it more comfortable. I also met another thru hike named “Bryguy75” who hiked the trail while he was 15 in 1975. I hiked down Springer to Stover Creek Shelter for lunch and met up with “Coffee pot” his dog Scout and Shaun.
I camped with them at a beautiful spot with a stream right before Three Forks.

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Springer Mountain Caretaker Jonathan.

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Bryguy75 with his old map he used on a thru hike in 1975.

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Stover Creek Shelter.

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Shaun and Coffee Pot

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Coffee Pot near the fire.

Day 3
Hiked to Hawk Mountain Shelter and took it easy. A guy who passed me blurted out “The turtle wins this race.” and now that is my slogan.

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Three Forks

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Hawk Mountain Shelter

Day 4
Cold night. Woke up early and hiked to Gooch Mountain Shelter. During the hike up Sassafras Mountain I met up with a group of three thru hiker Diesel, Montana and Chef Brodi.

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Montana, Chef Brodi and Diesel

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Chef Brodi

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Day 5
Woke up to a cold rainy day. Hiked to Woods Hole Shelter.

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Day 6
Woke up freezing and hiked up Blood Mountain. Hiked the steep rocky trail with thru hiker Nina and mjade it to Neels Gap Mountain Crossing around 3pm. Staying in an awesome cabin at Blood Mountain Cabins with a thru hike named Duffer.

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Candace hiking up Blood Mountain.

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Section Hiker Spencer, he is hiking south from the Smokies to Springer Mountain.

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Blood Mountain Shelter, the oldest shelter on the A.T, it was built by the CCC.

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Thru hiker Nina

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Wrong Way from Bristol, England.

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Mountain Crossings at Neels Gap.

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6 Comments

  1. Bill Rhodes March 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    WTG, Jon! Go for it. Let me know when you are up this way if you need some trail angel action.

  2. Grace Findley March 17, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    So proud of you Jonathan! I am really enjoying the photos, be safe and enjoy the experience. I know you are! :)

  3. Dave Morrison March 17, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Thanks for the plentiful photos. Having grown up in NE GA I hiked all over that area that you just completed. It was nice to see photos of such places again. It seems the Blood Mountain shelter has been restored a bit. That’s good. I’ll be following your posts as you head north.

  4. Jake Frankel March 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Awesome Jonathan! Happy trails, glad you’re posting pics from the trip.

  5. Stefan Colosimo March 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    go, turtle, go!

  6. Just Tim March 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    A step at a time. GREAT job! I’ll look forward to your posts.

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