Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Trip Report: March 7-10: Approach Trail to Springer Mountain
We started out the day at the welcome center and we had a little weigh in competition to see whose pack weighed the lightest. As you know Mike and Steve had a little competition going on and the weigh in settled that, Mike came in at 28 lbs. and Steve was at 32 lbs. Mike got free Wendy’s on the way home.
The hike started at the bottom of Amicalola Falls and required that we go up around 700 stairs. This is about 250 into the ascent and is a picture from a bridge crossing in front of the falls. It is amazing the amount of water that falls down these falls and it is all fed by a smaller stream.
This is a picture of (L-R) Brenden, Brad, and Steve (old man). They are at the bridge waiting on some of the slower hikers and the people that were assisting them in their ascent.
We finally hit an actual trail at the top and this is the leading group taking a break and letting the following group catch up. It was a pretty strenuous hike and as you can see we all needed a break every so often. This picture is (L-R) Brad, Mike, and Brenden.
Another part of our group as we were making our ascent up the Approach Trail, was John and Troy. You might say they look a little alike and that is because on most days they claim each other as brothers. From (L-R) Troy and John R.
We got to the top of Springer Mountain and this is the view that awaited us. There is nothing like getting to the summit and looking out over all of God’s creation. It was truly a beautiful day and there is very few places we would rather be than here. Can’t wait to go back!
Mike, Brenden, and John S. hiked back up to the top of Springer Mountain for the sunset. This is when they first got up there as the sun was starting to ascend from the clouds.
The closer the sun got to the horizon the more deeper orange tones we got in the pictures and you can see the purple hue of the mountain tops as they seem to hop out of the earth. If you don’t find this beautiful then you need to get your eyes checked.
The sun as it sneaks its last peek over the horizon. If you look at the top of the picture you can see the unique zig zag pattern of the clouds that I found to be a beautiful touch to the evening. Steve’s wife is actually thinking about painting one of these pictures because their beauty speaks for themselves!
Friday Night we had a full Moon. It was a very beautiful sight and with its brightness we barely had to even use our flashlights to light our way around camp. Mike and Steve both woke up at some point in the night and thought someone needed to turn off their head lamp.
This is a picture of Steve trying to experiment with his camera and the different lighting functions. We thought this was such a nice touch that we could not leave this out of the group.
This is a picture of the sun trying to creep over the horizon on the east side of camp. As you can see it came up right over the privy sign welcoming the day. Nothing like getting a beautiful sunset one night and waking up to a beautiful sunrise the next morning. This is why we love to be outdoors!
Here is the sunrise coming up over the mountain above Mikes Rainfly setup. Mike was actually still in the hammock at this point missing out on the beautiful sunrise. He did tell Steve that the sunset was much more beautiful and they both kind of agree on that aspect.
Mikes Hammock was setup in the windiest part of the camp because him and Steve wanted to test the setup thoroughly with the wind. The setup passed the test as Mike was out and snoring most of the night.
As you can see this is Steve’s setup which is the same as mikes for the most part with the rain fly and the doors closed. They plan on doing a review on each one of their setups in a video review very soon. They were able to work out most of the kinks in the setups and feel like with a couple improvements they should have an optimal setup next time.
This is a picture of Josh breaking down his setup for the ascent down to the car on Saturday. He was nice and toasty most of the night in his hammock also.
Everybody pretty much got torn down pretty quick and they all had to wait on the slow old man (Steve) to get his setup down and packed to his liking. We all understand that Steve is old and slow so we didn’t give him too hard of a time.
This was carved on the back side of the shelter and we had to take a picture of it. This person obviously loves to fart and I am glad that we were not at the shelter at the same time he/she was there because that would not have been pleasant.
Steve shaking out the dirt from his down booties that Mike suggested he buy and even though he didn't think they would work... they kept his toes nice and toasty. They are a must have in our opinions now.
Brad was a little particular on how his gear was laid out and organized. This is him getting everything in its right place before packing up for the hike down to the car. I think he got everything where he wanted it eventually.