3/10/12 – Day 2 – Gooch Mtn Shelter 7.7mi

Trees

Couldn’t sleep much last night as expected. Woke up, ate oatmeal with trail mix and pop tarts. Tuna and crackers and nutella tortillas for lunch. Ramen with a pack of salmon, garlic and crackers for dinner, was pretty good.

Tough day, ready for it to be over, but it kept on going. Sassaffras was steep and tough. Going up is tiring, going down is more painful.

Meeting some cool people. I go slow so they usually pass me up after a few and meet them at a shelter later.

I want to go to bed early since I am tired and it is dark, but that means about twelve hours of laying here until it is light enough in the morning.

Tomorrow I will be going to Lance Creek. I think it is the last campsite before the area with bear problems where bear cans are required.

3/9/12 – Day 1 – 9.0mi Springer Mountain to Hawk Mountain Shelter 8.1 mi

Me on Springer

Started at the road near Springer Mountain. Hiked .9 mi back to Springer summit. Cool day in the 50s. Not as tough as Philmont yet, maybe in the next few days – Blood Mountain will be tough. Brought way too much food, I need to eat more to carry less. It’s supposed to be cold tonight maybe 30f.

Apparently there are bear dogs here. They are used to hunt black bears by chasing them up trees. They all wear large radio collars.

Sassaffras Mountain will be tough tomorrow I hear.

Dahlonega

Hiker Hostel

I just got in to Dahlonega and the weather is pretty nice right now. The people at the hostel are all laid back too. The place is a three story log cabin just up in the mountains a little. Lots of oak and pine trees. No snow, good thing I guess. I leave to start hiking tomorrow. I asked and jason was dropped off at the approach trail yesterday morning. I am still unsure whether to start there or just go straight to Springer and start the trail. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Bonham

Dad and Pig

I went up to Bonham, TX the last couple days to visit with my dad and his wife Belinda before I leave town. It was a nice visit. I saw his animals. He has a large pig, of about 250lbs that he is planning to slaughter on Friday, and also a few turkeys. He had more turkeys and some chickens, but they have slowly been eaten by things. Most likely coyotes or maybe even owls lately.

Tree

While there we also went out and saw John, a friend of his. He lives out at a cool piece of property with lots of nice woods. He has a tree farm and a cool old cabin his dad once lived in. We wandered around the woods for a little bit and saw plenty of red oak and cedar trees. It was a pretty nice place, very different from the other farms around where all their land has been clear cut into boring fields and giant lawns.

First Itinerary

My initial itinerary has me doing the approach trail and getting in to Neel’s Gap for a resupply on day five. For most it is a four day hike if the approach trail is included, but I do not want a 15 mile day up and down Blood Mountain. There are also reports of bear problems around Blood Mountain, which means bear cans are being required to camp near there. So the options are to buy an expensive bear can to use for just one night, or to skip the area by stopping short and hiking through the next day, as I intend to.

Week one to neels gap

Day one
Approach trail to Springer Mountain
8.8mi
Stay at black gap shelter or springer mountain

Day two
hawk mountain shelter
8.1mi

Day three
gooch mountain shelter
7.7mi

Day four
Camp at lance creek
Optional trip to store in Suches GA, 2 mi off trail
8.5mi

Day five
Neels Gap
Stay at hostel or hike on to Bulls Gap
7.4mi

Need five days of food
4 breakfast
5 lunch
4 dinners