Day 2: To Hawke Mountain Campsite GA on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Tuesday April 11

Total Distance: 12.4km

To Hawke Campsite in 3 minutes

Okay now hold up a sec…while I knew this was going to be hard and I can read the elevation levels – this is so freakin hard!

On the upside, it really is like the Grampians so far, with a bit of the Rotorua Redwoods thrown in. However from what i can tell, it is a every strenuous Grampians walk there is – everyday.

So no surprises as such, and no, no surprises how sore I am, how slow I am going – all this I was well aware of going into it. However makes no difference to the overall soreness I feel, the slight sigh I give as everyone including kids pass me. Don’t get me wrong it’s not depressing or disheartening just suckie!

Today was uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill pretty much all day. The campsite is fairly new and has been well kitted out with bear boxes for food storage etc. There was a bear that was hanging around Black Gap Shelter a couple of days before I was there, so we made sure to hang all food up etc…but no bear came. Same as the Hawk Mountain campsite, no bear. Although early this morning I thought I could see a bear, shone my headlamp on it and it was nothing but shadows and imagination.

There was a point nearing the end that I hit the proverbial wall, bout the same time as I did while doing the Great South West Walk (GSWW). So my next resupply is going to be rethought. I already made changes from learnings over GSWW but after two days doing this, more changes are needed – my whole lower half aches.

The campsite has 30 tent sites and is in great condition. The only trouble is it is so spread out! There is a single path that you take from entry down to the spring but it’s about a mile long and downhill (so a long walk uphill tomorrow), with the tent sites coming off the path. The privy is about a quarter of the way down so unless you are right beside it, you are hiking to the privy.

Yesterday April 10, fellow hiker Nick left his water filtration system at Black Gap Shelter which Matt was going to carry and see if he and windrows could catch up to him to see it safely returned to its owner. However they realised that they probably wouldn’t be able to do that many miles, so I said I would give it a go.

On the way to Hawk Mountain campsite (April 11) I stopped in at Stover Creek Shelter for lunch and met Andy – who had been waiting for his father for s few days now- who really wanted to get his hike underway and was conscious of how much time he had lost so was planning to head to Gooch Mountain Shelter.
I read in the hiker book that Nick left his number in there and asked if anyone had found his filter system. Realising that Nick would probably have head to Gooch Mountain Shelter Andy kindly agreed to do a baton change and take the filtration unit on from here. So I shall see if there is an update to this story tomorrow when I call in to Gooch Mountain shelter.

Not many photos today – spent too much time huffing and puffing!

Tomorrow we climb Sassafras Mountain and Justus Mountain so i will need to be up early 😊


  1. Happy Easter trails Serena. I still shake my head in astonishment you’re actually there! Even that’s an achievement I think.


  2. Ahhh yes, nothing delights an aging soul more than having a 12yr old prance lightly by you with all the ease and grace of a frigging gazelle. And that beaming smile they flash at you from beneath their sweatless brow…salt in the wound. Resting your aching body in your tent a few nights from now, perhaps the still and quiet serenity of the night shall be encroached upon by the faint sound of said gazelle’s undignified hurling. Just sayin’. Tortoise and the hare 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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