Springer Mountain

Aiming therefore at such great things, remember that you must not allow yourself any inclination, however slight, towards the attainment of others; but that you must entirely quit some of them, and for the present postpone the rest. But if you would have these, and possess power and wealth likewise, you may miss the latter in seeking the former; and you will certainly fail of that by which alone happiness and freedom are procured. – Epictetus, The Enchiridion

The southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is at the summit of Spring Mountain in Georgia. You can either walk the 8.8 miles approach trail to the mountain or get a ride to near the summit on the forest service roads. I’m planning to do the later. The approach trail is not technically part of the Appalachian Trail, so I feel no need to include the extra challenge.

On Thursday, March 28 2013, the plan is to ride with my brother Mike and my dog Henry from Greensboro NC to Neel’s Gap in Georgia. Neel’s Gap is at mile 31 on the trail. We’ll then use a shuttle to get to Springer Mountain and walk the next few days back to Neel’s Gap. My brother and dog will then head back to Greensboro for the summer and I’ll keep hiking north along the trail.

I used to live in Winston-Salem NC from 2005-2008. While I was living here my sister Anne also moved to town. My parents just this past year also moved to Winston-Salem to be near Anne and their first grandchild, Emily. I still know a number of people in town here. I heard from my parents that a guy (Steve Golden) at my former church here is interested in hiking a section of the trail with me. I welcome anyone who wants to hike with me. It’s better if they join in the first couple months as later on I hope to be in fast hiker shape which most wouldn’t be able to sustain.

I’m just putting together the last of the logistics for the hike. It certainly isn’t easy. A lot of challenges have come up just in the planning stages. I just set up my new cheap healthcare plan now that I’m no longer on a companies plan. I’ve also arranged for the shuttle ride to the beginning of the trail. Tonight I’m having steak with the parents and then going to the Foothills brewery (near the condo I own) with my friend Mara. Tomorrow I’ll be staying at my uncle’s place in Greensboro and helping my brother pick out some hiking gear of his own.

I’ve got a pocket King James Bible to read along the trail and a printed out copy of the short philosophic writing “The Enchiridion” of Epictetus. I had also been keeping a document of the lyrics to a bunch of songs but now I don’t have a printer to print them off. I figured it would be good to have some song lyrics to prevent myself singing “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more.”


About douglasdouma

I am a husband to beautiful wife, an ordained minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church - Hanover Presbytery, and founder of Sola - Appalachian Christian Retreat (www.discoversola.com). In addition to blogging at this site I am the author of The Presbyterian Philosopher - The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark (Wipf&Stock, 2017) and compiling editor of Clark and His Correspondents: Selected Letters of Gordon H. Clark (Trinity Foundation, 2017). I have a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering (University of Michigan), a master's in business administration (Wake Forest University) and a master of divinity (Sangre de Cristo Seminary). I'm an avid hiker, having completed a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in 2013 and the first 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016.
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One Response to Springer Mountain

  1. Stacey B. says:

    Hey Doug! I’m curious about the healthcare plan you chose. Can you contact me through Facebook and explain more? That’s one of my biggest worries about hitting the trail.

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