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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #8 - March 29, 2003

5:50 AM – (Now on Eastern Time!) After nearly two days, we have yet to get on the trail and already it feels life we have been gone forever. Yesterday was an interesting ride through West Virginia. We had a historical society guy “narrating” the trip for us and pointing out noteworthy stuff. Had a 3-4 hour stop in Charlottesville, VA. We grabbed a bite at the Blue Moon Café, a little joint near the train station. Good food and beer list. Was a bit put off by the roach carcasses on the floor, but we didn’t mind much and, apparently, no one else did either. The tiny place was packed with college kids getting themselves ready for a Friday night full of drinking with a good greasy base layer. From what we saw of the town around the train station, there seemed to be a lot of college hustle & bustle.

Got back on the train @ 9:30 and been sleeping mostly up until now. My back and butt have definitely had it. By now my legs are such Jell-o that I have no idea how we’re going to make it one day, let alone six months. I am starting to feel grossly unprepared, especially thinking over the elevation cross-sections. Well, there’s nothing we can do now, except try our best. We also might have to send some stuff back right away. Andy’s pack is way too heavy. Well, the sun should be rising soon – It’s 6:05. We must be in North Carolina and I can’t see any mountains?! That’s OK with me – unless they’re so high, they’re shrouded in the fog… 

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Preparing to Hike the Appalachian Trail?

Commonly used guides by A.T. thru-hikers include the Appalachian Trail Guides (published by the Appalachian Trail Conference), the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker's Companion, and the Appalachian Trail Data Book. The guide series includes a guide for each section, along with a series of trail maps. The Thru-Hiker's Companion has helpful info on towns, shelters, and water. The Data Book has basic distance info for road crossings, shelters, and other features. All are excellent tools for use during a long distance hike.




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