The path up to Springer Mountain was somewhat rocky and went up hill a great deal (duh?), but overall it wasn't too bad a hike. I did come across this plaque that told of a plane crash that occurred on the spot I was standing on back in 1968 (almost one month after I was born). The plaque was in memory of a guy named Richard Shoolbred that died in the plane crash. He was only 33 years old. This reminded me that life is indeed short and gave me a little boost in energy to continue on with my journey.
A strange thing that happened shortly thereafter... I stopped for a water break and glanced at my watch. It said the time was 9:15 a.m. That usually would not cause alarm except for the fact that I had started my hike well over an hour ago at 9:00 a.m. In fact, I had glanced at the time at a previous water break and my watch said it was 9:30 a.m. at that time. I would normally blame a slow watch battery for the error, but that doesn't explain how my watch was showing me a time that was prior to what I had seen previously. Did I just step into some time warp? I reset my watch to the proper time (10:15 a.m.) and gave a quick nod of my head in recognition to the spirit of Mr. Shoolbred that was surely playing a trick on this new AT hiker. After all it was Friday the 13th and I am hiking alone in the Georgia mountains... if anything strange happens to me I surely deserve it.
Around Noon I finally arrived at the summit and sat on a rock near the famous plaque that marks the Southern terminus of the AT trail. I had a quick lunch and wrote a small entry in the spiral notebook that was located inside a metal box near the plaque. There were already a lot of entries of the many others that had passed along the same path I am taking. I noticed that 2 other hikers (Happy Hour and Big Chief) were not that far ahead of me on the trail and they were heading in my same direction. I wondered if I would catch up with them at some point. It didn't seem like there were many others out there better yet anyone going in my direction.