Day One – April 15 Springer Mountain to Justus Creek 14.4 Miles

Today is the day that my journey on the Appalachian Trail began. On Good Friday, my feet finally touched Georgia dirt. It’s truly hard to describe the feelings into words. My stomach had butterflies, I had tears in my eyes and honestly, there is always a bit of fear that plaques me. This is such unknown territory for me.

Picture Perfect Beginning

The morning was picture perfect. The sky was blue with contrails crisscrossing above me. The trail was free of mud and somehow without dust. The birds were welcoming me with song, and the forest was glistening. My friend had described it as “The Enchanted Forest” and she was spot on! Creeks were flowing, flowers were blooming and trees were just starting the leaf out.

As I took my first steps, there were a couple of guys who were getting ready for a section hike. They were from The Carolinas and had that southern draw that is so welcoming. Good morning Mam, nice day for a hike! It was a blessed day to be on trail. I moved along and my snail pace, warming my body up for what would be a fairly easy day. I saw a few hikers at the shelters and continued on.

Trail Magic

Mid-morning a young man named Colton caught up with me and we hiked a bit. He had never thru hiked before. He was carrying his pack that had what appeared to be a cargo net attached to the back. Inside was not one, not two, not three but four packages of Quaker’s Rice Cakes. He had an assortment of flavors and it made me smile as my Mother loved these. As we climbed up a knob, that’s what they call hills around here, there was a guy sitting on a fallen tree. He stopped Colton, and asked him if he had hiking poles? Evidently he didn’t believe he really needed them and shook his head no. “Speed Bump” is a Trail Angle and Widdler. He makes these beautiful handcrafted walking sticks out of the local trees. He presented Colton with one that was engraved, “Take me to Maine- AT Class of 2022”. What a treasured piece of equipment and hence, trail magic has started less than five miles into my hike. Colton was so appreciative and promised to send “Speed Bump” a picture from Mt. Katahdin.

Praises & Love

Mid-day I stopped for lunch with a few others, and had light conversations. That is until I met Emily. She too is a local and is planning to hike to Maine. She was enamored with my scarf and asked what was on it? My friends and family signed a bandana for me with scripture, words of wisdom and love. I had a similar scarf-bandana when I hiked the PCT a few years ago. It was my most treasured piece of gear. There were times on the trail I would just stop and read these blessings. During my toughest days, these praises and love would help me get through those moments. Emily loved the scarf and it opened up a dialog about my faith and belief. And to think this is only day one!

Ending to a Perfect Day

Today was a picture perfect day. The sun shined all day, I had a skip in my step and I thought, Lord you sure know how to bless me! I made it to camp, found a relatively flat bench to pitch my tent, and enjoyed the sound of the river flowing below. Good Friday was a spectacular day filled with hope and promise for the days to come. What an amazing God I serve.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭28:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

8 thoughts on “Day One – April 15 Springer Mountain to Justus Creek 14.4 Miles

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