|Hike Name:||Appalachian Trail - Springer Mountain (via Nimblewill Gap)|
|Trip Date:||April 10, 2004|
|Trip Weather:||Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy|
|Trip Precipitation:||Rain, Showers|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 71-80, Low: 51-60 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||4/10/04 (Saturday): The Helmet and Doughgirl made it to the house by noon today and we stopped for some lunch at Burger King and at Amoco before we skipped town. The skies were sunny all morning but clouded up by the time we hit the road. We drove straight to Amicalola Falls State Park since the Helmet and Doughgirl had never seen it before and checked out the falls, visitors center and shelter that I stayed in on 4/10/94 when I started my thru-hike. There was one guy in the shelter this afternoon, but we headed back to the truck since rain was rolling through the area. It was forecast to hit after midnight tonight and I thought that the storm had come early today. Fortunately, it passed quickly and we decided to shoot for Springer Mountain rather than Black Mountain Gap shelter.
We left the State Park for Nimblewell Gap via a rough and rutted 4x4 road around 2pm. Four thru-hikers walked into the gap as we pulled our packs from the truck this afternoon but we didn’t see them again until we reached Springer Mountain. Took a brief break at the Black Mountain Gap shelter on the way to Springer and discovered a trash bag of food a thru-hiker had abandoned during his climb on the Approach Trail.
Springer Mountain was a busy place when we arrived this afternoon. I had a few brews with some thru-hikers on the summit and there were a few day hikers that rolled through by 6pm. The Helmet, Doughgirl and I found a great campsite in a newly cleared area just before the shelter. We pitched camp, gathered some wood, then walked down to get water at an unusually dry spring. From here, we bushwhacked backed to the Springer Mountain summit for sunset. The Helmet and Doughgirl hung out briefly, then another thru-hiker came up with his girlfriend and uncle. The sun ducked behind some clouds and we gave up on getting any decent photos when it started getting chilly.
The campfire was roaring when I got back to the campsite since another group (including a guy that works at Earthlink) was sharing our fire ring tonight. There was also a father with his kids, but they were staying in the shelter and left around 9pm after cooking up some marshmallows while we grilled some kabobs. Steve (aka Night Rider) walked up from the shelter for the last two hours and had hitchhiked from Cartersville, GA after driving a rig there for a commercial trucking company. He tried to hitch at night, so we dubbed him “Night Rider” for his thru-hike. He seemed to enjoy the campfire camaraderie and jacked up about his hike. We hung out with him until the rain started around midnight. The stars did come out briefly this evening, but didn’t stay out very long when more clouds rolled in.