Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We were picked up at the Atlanta airport sometime around midnight, and dropped of at Anacola falls around 2am, where we slept in an empty shelter till 9am. Shortly after waking up I began walking for Springer Mountain some 8 1/2 miles away, while Eric seemed to be in no hurry. While still in the parking lot, I had a great encounter with a raccoon. I thought to myself, what a great way to start the trip, then it started raining. It was not long that I was completely soaked, and I was thinking I should have had a poncho, or something else besides an umbrella to keep dry.
I reached Springer Mountain just after noon, and in that 8 1/2 miles I realised that this was a whole different hike than I was use to. The trail was steep, and the rain was relentless. Every shelter I passed along the way were full. I finally stopped and sqeezed in a shelter, and had to pleed for the occupants for that. This was turning out to be a bummer. In pouring rain Eric came by the shelter, and continued on to set up his tarp a mile or so up the trail.
In the morning, It was clear cloudy, but dry, I saw Eric, crawling out of his nest, and we hiked together to Neels Gap. While Eric, had to dry his bag in the dryer, I picked up my first box, bought a snickers and a orange juice and continued up the trail, in the pouring rain, aiming for Low Gap Shelter.
Upon reaching the shelter, I was dumbfounded, I have never seen so many people. They wer crammed in, under and everywhere around the shelter. I thought to myself, man this sucks, and continued on in the pouring rain. I found a couple of logs that created a bit of shelter, pitched my tarp over them and crawled in. Shortly after Eric cruised by and continued up the trail in the dark, in the rain to find a spot to pitch his tarp. I found him in the morning, shakeing his camp, and we hiked on into another rainy day.