Amicalola Falls Sp
Day: 0
Mileage: -8.3
04/14/96 3:43 pm

In the park's Thru Hiker shelter and just signed the register there (the park office has been closed since my arrival so I can't sign the official one yet).

It is a beautiful day here, actually a little too warm to hike. Well it is almost 4pm, I guess I'll go to the office and see if they are opened yet......

4:11 pm

Just got back from the official sign-in book signing. There were 22 names in the book since the 12th.. most thru hikers!
On the plaque outside the Max B Epperson Sr. Trail Shelter......

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A Tribute to Max
by Margaret Logan, May 18, 1992

For many a mile, up and down,
This man, who was not of great renown,
Has walked this famous Trail.
With aching joints and blisters he would prevail.
The trees, flowers, wild animals, and fresh air
Made him feel that he had not a care.
His family knew when the trail was on his mind
That he would find a way to join his own kind.

Now that he has gone to that long trail in the sky,
We know it's not necessary to ask, "Why?"
As a fitting tribute to Max, the man,
We want to dedicate this shelter so they all can
Share in his eternal joy,
Every man, woman, girl, and boy,
That this Trail may forever stand
A lasting tribute to a wonderful man - Max Epperson


7:45 pm

Had a dinner of Clam Chowder, crackers, mom's zucchini cake and canned pears.

Had three people figure out I am a long distance hiker since last entry and two read the trail log and saw my computer and figured me out quick.

One log entry cracked me up 'My pack is too heavy HELP!', I can see why, in the official register they ask pack weight and some had 90 lbs! Yea, I expect to see them down the trail.

Right now having a campfire, it is quiet since most of the day users are gone.

Campfire Ashes went in the first fire on the trail!!




Springer Mt. Shelter
Day: 1
Mileage: .2
04/15/96 6:54 pm




Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
-8.3Base of Amicalola Falls (2,150')...600+stairs 2150
-7.6Amicalola Lodge Road (2,550') 2550
-7.4+Len Foote Hike Inn Trail (2,600') 2600
-7.2USFS 46 (2,580')...log steps on north side 2580
-5.6High Shoals Road (2,800') 2800
-4Frosty Mountain (3,382') 3382
-3.7USFS 46, Frosty Mountain Road (3,192') 3192
-3.4+Len Foote Hike Inn (3,310') 3310
-2.8USFS 28, Nimblewill Gap (3,100') 3100
-1.8Black Mountain (3,600') 3600
-1.5Black Gap Shelter (3,300')...7.3mS; 1.9mN 3300
0Springer Mountain (3,782')...A.T. bronze plaque, register in rock 3782
0.2Springer Mountain Shelter(3,730')?1.9mS; 3mN Benton MacKaye Trail (southern terminus) 3730
Hiked 8.3 miles

Woke at 6:45am out of camp (with breakfast and all) at 8:00am not bad.

Pack weight is 57 lbs according to scale (w all food/ fuel and water).

At Black Gap shelter 12:28 pm to eat lunch and relax before Springer. Met my first hiking companion while stopped for lunch. We ended up hiking to Springer together.

When we got to Springer (and the 2 plaques and the FIRST WHITE BLAZE) at 2:30 just when it started to rain.

I am now sitting bull shitting with 4 other thru hikers and having a great time. People who understand the what's and why's!

I survived the first day!!

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04/16/96 ~9am

During the night we had a grand old time fighting off the mice. everything I read and didn't beleive is TRUE!

Also we had SNOW last night!

I am now back at the beginning (Springer) to catch the cold view and to sign the register.

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Hawk Mt. Shelter
Day: 2
Mileage: 7.7


Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
0.2Springer Mountain Shelter(3,730')?1.9mS; 3mN Benton MacKaye Trail (southern terminus) 3730
1USFS 42, Big Stamp Gap (3,350') 3350
1.9Benton MacKaye Trail (3,430') 3430
2.8Stover Creek Shelter (2,870')?3mS; 5.7mN 2870
3.8Stover Creek (2,660') 2660
4.2Benton MacKaye Trail (2,580') 2580
4.3USFS 58, Three Forks (2,530') 2530
5.2Side trail to Long Creek Falls, junction with Benton MacKaye and Duncan Ridge trails (2,800') 2800
6.2USFS 251, Hickory Flats (3,000')? picnic pavilion, cemetery 3000
7.4Hawk Mountain Campsite (3,250')? new 2016 3250
8.1Hawk Mountain Shelter (3,200')?5.7mS; 8mN 3200
04/16/96 3:49 pm

Even though I woke up to snow, it turned out to be a great day! Perfect hiking weather with the sun out and a good cold breeze. Met all sorts of the hikers today including Waldo who will be carrying a laptop and video camera, and already has a cell phone, which is in use right now. Also ran into about 6 others.

Heard stories about a guy with annother 90+ lb pack.

It is now a running joke that I am the ONLY one who hiked up from the visitors center to the top of the falls, G-d I wish I took the advice in the Thru Hikers Handbook.

Since it is so early and so nice I took the opportunity to do my first wash. I am glade I took my 'Washing Machine'.

I am getting into the 'Thru Hikers Social Seen' and loving it, you meet all sorts of interesting people.

Waldo's web page is http://www.waldo.net/apptrail/index2.htm And with luck I will be on that too.

Definition: Blaze Blind - someone who walks by trail markers and blazes without seeing them. (also possibly the trail name of one of my companions)

04/17/96 9:15 am

Just about all packed up, No animals got into my stuff last night, although they were in the shelter. Did hear an owl outside in the middle of the night, I hope he got a mouse or two.

Last nights group was great, With Lisa (maybe aka Blind Blaze), her companion Grant, Waldo, Kevin and I made for a good group. There was annother hiker, 'Grim Creeper' who just freaked all of us out. She didn't talk and just stared, luckily she stayed in a tent behind the shelter.

Lisa and Grant made popcorn for the rest of us which was neat, and good, G-d they cook up a storm.

One equipment note: the mesh food bag is not working out, going to switch to two stuff sacks at the Center.

Medical condition: Stiff but ok, feet fine!




Justus Creek
Mileage: 13.6
04/17/96 2:15 pm

This hike has been a killer, down to Hightower Gap, then up then down to Horse Gap, then up to Sasafras Mtn, then to Copper Gap, back up to Justus Mtn and Phyllis Spur then to here. To top it off it is almost too nice. The sun has been beating down on me all day (not a cloud in the sky), but don't get me wrong it is better than hiking in the rain.

Taking a L..O..N..G break here but would like to get to next shelter sometime. I am going to do a major snack here before I go though.

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Gooch Gap Shelter
Day: 3
Mileage: 16.1


Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
8.1Hawk Mountain Shelter (3,200')?5.7mS; 8mN 3200
8.6USFS 42/69, Hightower Gap (2,854') 2854
10.5Horse Gap (2,673') 2673
11.5Sassafras Mountain (3,340') 3340
12.2USFS 42/80, Cooper Gap (2,800') 2800
12.9Justus Mountain (3,224') 3224
14.3Justus Creek (2,550') 2550
15.8Gooch Mountain Shelter (3,000')?8mS; 12.8mN 3000
04/17/96 4:37 pm

Arrived after a grueling day!!!

04/17/96 8:33 pm

After dinner, free food from Lisa and Grant, and desert, I am feeling a little better. Sore and feel like 50, but at least I can move.

I think I am not going to try to do Blood mountain in one day, but to camp half way there and then make the Center the next day.

Trying my long sleeved ex-officio shirt tonight to see if it will help me sleep through the night.

Other than that, I have not dropped any gear, and have used almost all my clothing now (with the exception of my gators) which seems to tell me that I pegged my needs for the hike.

Met no new thru-hikers today. Waldo is 3 or 4 miles ahead, and Kevin is a few miles back (I think). Didn't see any entry for Wolverine and company, but it seems every time I turn around I see some of their gear or food at a shelter.

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Slaughter Gap
Day: 4
Mileage: 27.4




Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
15.8Gooch Mountain Shelter (3,000')?8mS; 12.8mN 3000
17.3USFS 42, Gooch Gap (2,821') 2821
19.6Ramrock Mountain (3,260')?rock outcropping 3260
21.1Ga. 60, Woody Gap (3,173')?picnic area, privy, springSuches, Ga. 30572 3173
22.1Big Cedar Mountain (3,737')?rock ledges 3737
23.4Dan Gap (3,300') 3300
24.3Lance Creek (3,050')?tent platforms 3050
26.2Burnett Field Mountain (3,480') 3480
26.7Jarrard Gap (3,250')?USFS Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area 3250
28.1Bird Gap, Freeman Trail (3,650') Woods Hole Shelter?12.8mS; 1.6mN 3650
28.4Slaughter Creek Trail at Slaughter Creek Gap (3,790')?spring 3790
04/18/96 7:29 pm

Hiked here from Gooch Gap Shelter (an amazing 11.3 miles). Camping out for the first time, I'll see how I like the bivy. A little worried about a forest fire in the area, how close I don't know.

Felt pretty good today except for some sun burn on my arms.

Almost out of TP but luckily there was a good stock of it at Woody Gap (Stress the WAS).

Met 4 new thru hikers and one thru pawing dog (Chelsea). Also met Harold and Helen(?) from the GATC and talked to both for a bit.

Stopped for dinner at a stream, decided to eat dinner at lunch since there might not have been water we're I plan to stay. Well there was anyway, but it helped me get thru the day.

Sitting here talking to Kevin and catching up.

Latter I found out two more official trail names. Lisa is 'Nomad', she did not like 'Blaze Blind' and Grant is 'The Purple Pirate' because almost everything he has is purple, or so it seems. Kevin is toying with 'Trail Snail', but he is not sure.

Now everyone has been talking about 'The Center' tomorrow, ice cream, new gear etc...should be fun but first Blood Mt.

Gear Note: had to work on my water filter today, it would not pump since the one way valve would not close, got it to work after abut 15 min of horsing around.




** US19- Walasi-Yi Center **
Day: 5
Mileage: 30.8