Friday, April 4, 2014

Same Date. Different Years

From the journals:

04 April 2002.  At Hawk Mountain Shelter with about 20 other people this first day hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Red, Gary, Maggie and I are camped in the upper level of the shelter.  Long day hiking--6 hours--but we got in early enough to grab a space under a roof.  After dinner the sun is setting and the air is cooling.  Dinner was Ramen noodles with textured vegetable protein.  I still worry that we will run short of food before we reach Neels Gap.  I guess the stress of the city and and getting to the trail head is still with me.  Even so, today was a great day.  We encountered many people, most of whom seem to be here at Hawk Mountain this evening.  Sitting at the table in front of the shelter, I count seven tents.  More are out of direct sight.  The Appalachian Trail is a crowded place this fourth day of April.

04 April 2005.  Camped at Stover Creek Shelter on the first night of my Appalachian Trail "make up" hike.  Walked a blistering 3.5 miles today, barely half of that with a pack.  Brother Neil drove me up from Atlanta to Forest Road 42 about a mile north Springer Mountain summit.  We walked south to the AT southern terminus there, touched the plaque there and returned to the road.  Then I stared walking solo.  Easy walking, much more so than three years ago.  Feels strange to be out on my own--no Red and Gary, no Maggie, just me and this year's aspiring 2,000-milers.

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