Started hiking the approach trail at around 12pm. Somehow I passed my group and it’s too wet and cold to stop. Had a break at 2 and again at 4:30. Made it to the top at 5:20. The official northbound start of the Appalachian Trail.
I waited for my crew for about 75 minutes and watched the sunset. Decided to just go to the campground and set camp. It was cold and really windy but the tent setup was easy and warm inside without the wind. I was soaked from the waist down and peeled my clothes off and out on warm dry thermals and socks. Went to sleep at 7:30. Woke at 3:30 to pet the bears, and then woke again at 7:30. Breakfast was a mountain house skillet and coffee. On the trail at 9 and waiting again at the summit.
We’ve been on the road for 24 hours already, tag teaming the driving to keep momentum. The original map estimate said 26 hours. It looks like it’ll be closer to 34. Dropping the trailer tonight, picking up another hiker, getting a few zzzz’s and we should be at Amicalola Falls in the afternoon tomorrow. Hiking starts Friday. It’s raining now and forecasted to stop Saturday as we follow the storm east.