Wow! What a first Day! It was everything I expected and more! Hiking in the winter has it's major benefits. First, I don't get overheated on the tough uphill climbs because of the chilly weather, I just adjust my clothing accordingly. But most of all, the lack of leaves on the trees makes for some amazing views that would otherwise be obstructed by canopy cover.
I (almost) finished the Approach Trail which is 8.8 miles long. I stopped at the 7.3 mile point, at a shelter, because I was getting a bit tired and I wanted take it easy on my first day. Also the sun was getting a bit low on the mountain and i wanted to be at the AT starting point in the daylight to get some "official" start pics of the Southern Terminus plaque on Springer Mountain.
Oh, yeah, and the 604 steps up the waterfall at the very beginning are no joke!! I thought it would tough for me solely because of being a flat-lander from FL, I'm not quite used to steps... but on top of that, the steps were metal grating and slightly slippery from the waterfall spray. I'm not super afraid of heights, but geesh, that rattled me a bit!
Dinner is done. Everything is set up in the lean-to shelter. It's barely 7pm and I am sooooo ready for bed!
Here are some pics from today: