Never a springtime comes that I do not find my thoughts directed strongly toward Springer Mountain, the AT, and all that it holds.
If a ghost is a memory that will not fade, then the Appalachian Trail is my own personal phantom. It haunts me in all the good ways a significant life experience can. If it’s a good thing to be visited by a spirit of achievement, then the AT is certainly among the finest one could ever envision.
I am haunted by the approach trail at Amicalola Falls, Georgia, which felt like a rite-of-passage backpacking to the start of something superb, difficult, daunting, and mysterious.
I am haunted by Springer Mountain Shelter, where I first dropped my backpack on the first evening of many I would spend hiking the trail. I remember the rugged reliability of a wooden refuge created by so many hands, by so many trail and maintenance clubs, who literally poured out their love in sweat and effort so that I might have a place to rest…
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