This is the first entry in a new journal that I will use to document the places I'll visit, the people I meet and any thoughts or aspirations that I'd like to share as I trek northbound along the 2100 mile footpath known as the Appalachian Trail. I'll begin my hike on February 25 at Springer Mountain, GA. I'll travel to Atlanta and meet Donnie and his wife Mary (photo attached) at the North Springs MARTA station. Our first stop will be at Amicalola State Park to sign-in and pick up my Thru-Hiker Badge before heading up the fire road to the Springer Mtn parking lot. From there, I'll hike back to the plaque at the southern terminus , sign the registry, and depending on the time, stay at the Springer Mountain Shelter or push on to Stover Mountain about 3 miles to the north. I do remind myself that these are just plans. As the poet Robert Burns wrote, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" and so to hike to a rigid schedule would likely dilute the experience and allow all that is new and unknown to go unnoticed.
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