Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 2: Thru-Leapers FTW!!! (Springer Mountain to Hawk Mtn Shelter)

Day 2:  Thru-Leapers FTW!!! (Springer Mountain to Hawk Mtn Shelter): 

This morning, February 29th, the Swiss couple was on the move quickly, leaving Erik, Azalon and me to crawl out of camp.  Soon the excitement of starting our Thru-Leap attempt was coursing through our veins.  As we approached Springer Mountain, the mist settled in, blocking any view we may have had and giving a mysterious aura to the place.  When we arrived at the top of Springer, it was just Erik, Azalon, and myself for about 10 minutes.  Then a flood of hikers arrived one by one by one.  “Mikey Buckets” (22, NJ), Matt (23, Illinois… not Chicago), Luke (25, Maine), “Yogi” (47, Kansas City), “Half Moon” (48, Boston), Joe Cobb and his inner child (50, upstate NY), Sue (50, Gorham, Maine), Paul (about 57, Verona, Penn), “Always Fine” (60, NJ), “Flip” (62, NY), Janis with an “s” (62, Manassas, Virginia), and “Ol’ Hiker” (“old”, Tampa) all came up within a few minutes of each other.  Erik, Azalon, and I got off the top of Springer as quickly as we could, passing by a father/ son pair from Singapore, named Peter (60’s) and Victor (20’s), still on their way up.

17 people on the top of Springer at once... What a traffic jam.

At the end of our hiking day we found ourselves at Hawk Mountain Shelter, which has a loft.  As the lower area was already mostly occupied, Erik, Azalon, and I climbed up to the loft to set up our sleeping bags.  When Half Moon arrived, he also joined us in the loft.  The shelter slept 10 that night with another 9 folks tented, tarped, or hammocked out nearby.  We met Vincent (21?, Colorado), Sean (25, Idaho), Paul “Orange Lightening” (49, Syracuse, NY), and Todd “NorEaster” (50, Vermont) that night.  Momma and Papa Bear were there as well.  What a group!  Thru-Leapers FTW!!!

Another night using the sleeping bag as a blanket.  It rained intermittently.  And did I mention that Azalon snores like a lumberjack sawing down a tree?  Ipod Nano > ear plugs. 

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