Saturday, May 27, 2017
Start: Justus Creek
End: Springer Mountain
Miles: 14.4 (+0.2 for Long Creek Falls, +0.9 for return to USFS 42)
I went to bed really early last night, around 8pm, and slept soundly until I got up at 6am. I packed up camp and was on trail by 7am.
I climbed from Justus Creek (2589′) up Justus Mountain (3219′), down to Cooper Gap (2929′), up Sassafras Mountain (3347′), down to Horse Gap (2681′), up to Hawk Mountain (3220′), and then down to Three Forks/USFS 58 (2530′). From there, I climbed up to Springer Mountain (3782′), arriving by 1pm. I hung out for a while at the summit before heading back to the parking lot to await my ride to Atlanta.
Today went by quickly; it was mostly overcast and humid, with occasional sun peeking through. There were a LOT of people out on the trail, since it’s a holiday weekend. I saw two people open carrying, one of whom had his gun shoved into his butt crack without a holster. Beyond it being anxiety producing, it looked like chafe city. The summit of Springer was a bit anticlimactic, with poor views and a lot of other people. The last 5 miles were mostly wide gravel trail. It was quite a strange way to finish up this hike!