Springer Mountain Southern Terminus
Well it's officially spring...and you know what that means. It means it's time for that little annoying hiking bug to start gnawing its way up to the surface again. Kind of like that itch you get in the back of your throat that you just can't seem to scratch. It's just there....festering.....growing....a small noise becoming louder and louder until it's all you can hear. No matter what you might do to satisfy that hunger, it just never seems to be enough. Images of long winding trails, steep rocky ascents, and the smells of the woods keep popping into your head. That's right. It's back, and it seems that it gets worse each year. For the few of use who have spent weeks on various trails, and made our way thousands of miles by foot...we find it hard to explain this feeling to others. Yet amongst each other, it is an unspoken knowledge that we all share.
It has a name.....and that name is: Springer Fever.
On paper none of it makes any sense. During the last 2 weeks of my A.T. hike I was, for lack of a better word, miserable on the trail. I could think of nothing more desirable than not-hiking. I couldn't wait to be finished. This year, I have no reason to want to set out on any long distance hike. I have set many other goals in order to satiate that "outdoor-physical-challenge" facet of myself. Yet I sit here on a random Sunday night, and can think of nothing other than the 8.1 miles that I want to hike on the Approach Trail to Springer Mountain. I guess it's just one of those things that I'm going to have to deal with every year. Last year I was able to quench that thirst with a 3 week Colorado Trail thru-hike. This year, while I did get a few weeks of New Zealand hiking in, I was still primarily in "winter-mode" and just wasn't feeling the springer fever itch yet. Sure I would love to get up to VT and hike the Long Trail this summer, but I just don't know how'd I get the time. ahhh what to do....what to do.
I'm open to suggestions people....I feel like a junkie in need of some kind of fix here. Until then...I guess I'll just keep running, and training for my ultra-runs.
....and dream of rolling trails, and dirty shelters, and dripping tents, and 100% DEET, and black fly bites, and blistered toes, and ......
It's amazing how I honestly miss it all. yet i do.