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[at-l] Bound for Maine

Hi Y'all

I just got in the door from dropping Kristen, Ryan and Nate off at the trail 
- I couldn't believe the loss I felt at their leaving. Not only was it 
upsetting to not be going myself, I actually miss them already. Kristen was 
due in at 10pm on Saturday night but the flight was delayed until after 2. 
Ryan, Nate and I hung out in the airport waiting - it took about fifteen 
minutes before our little section of empty seats resembled a shelter with 
boots, sunglasses, assorted gear and bodies draped over the chairbacks.  It 
was 3 am by the time we actually got home and by that time the decision had 
been made to not get up at 7am to hike the approach trail.  

We all hung out here yesterday morning - had a huge breakfast; talked, 
laughed, sorted, eliminated and repacked gear and food - I have more gorp and 
ramen now than I will EVER use as well as tons of extra gear! After I found 
and recited the story of Friar Tuck, they all reached deeper in their packs 
and now I also have a stash of lotion, deodorant and hair gel.  We finally 
headed north about 1 pm, stopped at the Amicalola visitor center, weighed 
packs and then sorted, eliminated and repacked food and gear :) The last 
weights were  58, 58 and 53 - still heavy, but we eliminated over 20 pounds 
between the three of them.  

There were six other thruhikers camped at the top of Springer and another 
half dozen at the shelter. Jason, the new GATC ridgerunner, said he had met 
29 thruhikers yesterday. We had a great sunset then a supper of jambalaya and 
off to bed for an early start.  It was a beautiful night last night-the stars 
were super bright and the fog didn't roll in until breakfast.  

Pictures this morning, a hike down the mountain, a water refill and then they 
were off to Maine and I went home to piles of "stuff" to be shipped to 
parents all over the country :)  I just sent the pictures off to be developed 
and will post when they are back.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end

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