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#132666 - 04/25/10 09:26 AM AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike
Will King Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6
Loc: A city near you
I'm planning from Springer Mountain to Franklin, NC or thereabouts and would like to offer my itinerary.

This Wednesday: Get off work at noon; fly out of BWI 6:30pm arrive ATL 11:50pm. Check into Hilton Airport. I've been advised that there are cheaper hotels at the North Springs MARTA (Atlanta's public transportation train system) Station (where most [all?] shuttles pick up for Springer) but I had a free night at Hilton so I figured I'd stay as close to the airport as possible.

Thursday: Wake up, eat, and take the MARTA to North Springs Station. Meet Dave of Survivor Dave's Shuttles at 10am to take me to Springer. Dave's rate is $110 which includes fuel for my stove and he's taking me to where USFS 42 intersects with the AT. At that point its a 1 mile hike south to the trailhead at Springer.

From this point I figure I'll hike as many miles per day as I feel comfortable with stopping when I get tired. I've got a tarp for cover so I don't have to stop at shelters. I'm not really sure what my pack weighs as I'm experimenting with some new lightweight gear (tarp, Snowpeak Gigapower stove, just enough clothing to make me feel safe for the weather).

Food will be mostly quinoa, a grainlike seed which I plan on presoaking as I hike and simmering with some dried and/or canned food. I'm trying to eat healthy on the trail and stay away from the ubiquitous mac n' cheese, pasta, etc. We'll see how it goes. I mailed about half my food to myself c/o Mountain Crossings about thirty miles north of Springer. They also have a store with food, fuel, etc. on the trail.

I've given myself about ten days to make it to Franklin and my Dad will drive up from the coast to pick me up. I plan on calling him when I'm a couple of days away to finalize our plan. If I make really good time I may try to push on to Fontana Dam and get picked up there. It's really nice not to have a firm deadline as I don't have to be back at work for another week or so after I finish my hike.

I'd love for people to comment on my plan, gear, schedule, or anything else. I'll post again after I'm done. Thanks!

Will

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#132816 - 04/27/10 10:34 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: Will King]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

Plan sounds fine. Post your gear list and you bet we'll comment. It's what we do. smile
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#133655 - 05/13/10 01:53 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: Tango61]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
I read somewhere that you had to camp at the shelters? which sorta of limited some of my days...as i'm basically planning the same section you are...my goal is at least to finish gergia, but have ample time as well...

if we don't need to camp at the shelters that will change my trip as well, as some days i'd be stopping early at one shelter do to the fact the next was too far...

let me know!
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

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#133684 - 05/13/10 09:06 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: MarkNM]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
The requirement to stay at shelters only applies to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On the section you're looking at, you can camp just about any where you wish.
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

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#134734 - 06/05/10 09:21 AM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: Will King]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
I really liked using the Hiker Hostel as a package deal to get from the Atlanta Airport to Springer (or Amicalola) with fuel provided and a stay in their hostel and breakfast ..., I think their $70 "thru-hiker special" is a great deal.

If you start in reasonable shape and your gear weight isn't too bad, then 10 days to Franklin seems reasonable to me --- I started from Amicalola falls on Feb 25th and got into Franklin on the morning of March 6th this year, i.e., 10 days, and that included a Nero in Hiawassee along the way. But what seems reasonable to one person might seem pretty slow or pretty fast to others, "YMMV" ... !

For just 10 days I personally wouldn't worry about avoiding particular foods; Mac n' Cheese etc are pretty lightweight options (are you seriously bringing canned food?!?).
I also don't see the point of mailing food to Mountain Crossings when they sell food there, but each to their own on that sort of thing.


Edited by BrianLe (06/05/10 09:22 AM)
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#136614 - 07/21/10 01:28 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: BrianLe]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
I'm more or less doing the same section...figure around 10 miles a day at an easy pace, maybe some night hikes if i feel up to, has me near franklin or at least over NC by some degree...

I've done all the planning i possibly could with one final major bit...transportation logistics...I wanted to drive myself but am having a hard time figuring out where I can SAFELY park my car, and get shuttled to the beginning and then back to where my car is

any suggestions? Should i forget it and just try to take a bus or something? i was hoping to save cash, but am worried i'll be stranded 90 miles away from my car and or having it get broken into...thanks in advance.
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

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#137858 - 08/20/10 08:57 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: Will King]
Will King Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6
Loc: A city near you
Well, I finished my hike and figured I'd write about it a bit.

Getting to the trail was a breeze. "Survivor Dave" was right on time and a couple of hours later I was setting off from Springer. I averaged about eighteen to twenty miles a day with a pack that weighed around fifteen pounds without food and water. Before I set out, I posted a gear list on the "Lite Gear Talk" forum so I'll probably post a reply with a final list. Suffice it to say, I mailed some stuff home at Mountain Crossings.

I started off thinking I would eat quinoa for most of my meals. This got real old almost immediately. At Mountain Crossings I got some Mountain House dinners and had those every night for the rest of my hike. Delicious. Lunches were tuna or chicken from a pack on a tortilla. These got old too so I'm still trying to figure out what to eat on my next hike. Breakfast was quinoa with dehydrated fruit which I hated by the end. I sent all my canned food home at Mountain Crossings.

Overall it was a lovely experience. After doing some AT hiking as a teenager with a 40-50 pound pack, I am still amazed at how much more I enjoyed the hiking with a lightweight pack. I think there's some kind of exponential relationship between decrease in pack weight and increase of enjoyment.

I ended up setting up my tarp near shelters but not staying in the shelter unless the weather was going to be really bad. I enjoyed the companionship of the people I met at the shelters, but actually staying in the shelters I didn't like. It seemed like there was always someone snoring, getting up in the night to pee, or making noise in some other way. I guess that's part of the shelter experience. The one time I had a shelter all to myself, the critters kept me up. The best night's sleep I had was about fifty yards from the shelter under my tarp. I also liked sleeping near a water source which most of the shelters had.


Thanks again!

Will


Edited by Will King (08/20/10 09:06 PM)

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#137859 - 08/20/10 09:03 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: MarkNM]
Will King Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6
Loc: A city near you
I ended up setting up my tarp near shelters but not staying in the shelter unless the weather was going to be really bad. I enjoyed the companionship of the people I met at the shelters, but actually staying in the shelters I didn't like. It seemed like there was always someone snoring, getting up in the night to pee, or making noise in some other way. I guess that's part of the shelter experience. The one time I had a shelter all to myself, the critters kept me up. The best night's sleep I had was about fifty yards from the shelter under my tarp. I also liked sleeping near a water source which most of the shelters had.

Will

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#137860 - 08/20/10 09:07 PM Re: AT Springer to Franklin, NC Section Hike [Re: Will King]
Will King Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6
Loc: A city near you
Sorry about the repitition. Still trying to figure out how to post.

Will

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