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April 1, 2004

And they're off...

Dad called at 5:20pm EST.

Dad and Ruth started the quick jaunt to the Springer Mountain Terminus via the Forest Service Roads1 at about 7am. Pictures of them at the summit of Springer Mountain are en route, we'll post them when we get 'em. They trekked back to the service road, retrieved their packs and gear from the car, bade farewell to Jim and Jeanne, and started their Northbound journey by about 9am.

April 119.1 miles

They reached their target shelter2 for the first day at around 2:30pm, but decided to keep walking. According to Dad, they ran out of steam at about 4:30pm, and decided to set up camp where they were3 - he guessed about 2 miles short of the next shelter4, and estimated that they travelled 14 miles.

Details of the day:

  • Met 5 or 6 people while hiking
  • 3 groups of campers in an area of about 2 acres (where they stopped)
  • There were light snow flurries
  • Somewhere between 83 and 14 miles, we'll say 95.


1 Getting to the Appalachian Trail

2 Hawk Mountain Shelter (3200 ft) - 7.6 miles

3 Dad mentioned that they were camping near a gravel road. That might describe Hightower Gap (2854 ft), at an 8.1 mile distance from Springer Mountain.

4 Gooch Mountain Shelter - 14.9 miles or Gooch Gap Shelter - 16.1 miles

5 From the road to the first shelter2 is 6.7 miles, which they did in 5 1/2 hours. That's about 1.2 miles/hour. Assuming they maintained a similar pace for the next two hours (until 4:30), that's another 2.4 miles. 6.7 + 2.4 = 9.1.

Posted by erin . Thursday, 1 Apr 2004 . 06:39 PM, MST .


  1. Uncle Mike and Aunt Ruth - best of luck to you both! I showed Tyler a map of the trail. He replied "But, won't they get lost." No sooner did I explain that you had a map, he interrupted with "Uncle Mike is silly, why doesn't he get in his car and drive." We will work on it, heck, we have five months.
    Luv ya and take care.

    Posted by Jenny . Friday, 2 Apr 2004 . 05:58 AM, MST . #